The short story “At the Clinic” by Sally Rooney has a non-chronological structure. The story focuses on events that take place over a November morning when Connell takes Marianne to the dentist’s office for a procedure. The short story begins in medias res:

On the way to the dental clinic they talk about going home for Christmas. It’s November and Marianne is having a wisdom tooth removed. Connell is driving her to the clinic because he’s her only friend with a car, and also the only person in whom she confides about distasteful medical conditions like impacted teeth.

Several flashbacks reveal the complex dynamics between the two characters. For example, a flashback reveals that, a week ago, Marianne and Connell have been sexually intimate an...

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