Ellen finally read the pages I had sent her. By then she was about to move to a foreign country after all, though only for one year and not because of her young lover, and my manuscript was part of the business she had to take care of before she left. She seemed to like it, but she said the names were wrong. She did not want the hero to be named Hank. She thought that no one could fall in love with someone named Hank. But she meant I could choose any name I likes for my hero, while men named Hank, and the men and women who fall in love with them, are not free to choose.
After Ellie objected so much to Hank, I called the woman Laura and the man Garet for a while. But I did not really like the name Laura for this woman, since a woman named Laura feels to me like a peaceful woman, or at least a graceful one. Susan might have been better, but a woman named Susan would be too sensible to walk from one end of a town to the other and back for an hour at a time, at night, looking for a man and his old white car even if he is with another woman, just because she is determined to have at least a glimpse of him. She would not drive to his house in the rain and walk up unto a balcony and look in the window of his apartment.
- fra Lydia Davis’ roman The End of the Story, 1995