Type of Short Story: Short Story
Summary: Leah Wrestles with God by A.J. Kandathil is a short story inspired by Genesis 29:20-25, the story in which Jacob marries Leah. Kandathil, a Pushcart Prize nominee, currently writes about the cross-sections between literature and television for Ploughshares, and she is at work on her first book. This short story focuses on the story of Jacob, and is an imagined account told from Leah’s point of view. “In the Bible’s account, the story belongs to Jacob, and he is--by many measures--a hero. But what of the people who became little more than detritus on his journey to father the nations? What of the wife he didn’t love?”
He’d asked those words, but they didn’t form a true question. If I didn’t marry Jacob, then I’d either never wed, or I’d be wed to an outsider who might take me away. This was the only home I knew, and I didn’t want to leave it. In that brief moment, I saw my father’s deceit for what it might have been—a kindness to me, his eldest daughter, who had always been overlooked. Even he thought of me as the other sister. I’d never find a husband like Jacob on my own, and my father knew it. It was this kindness, even in its deceitful cradle, that undid the tangles of my integrity. This action, for better or worse, would hold our family together. I took a timid step toward Jacob’s tent, and I touched my father’s cloak.
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