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Posts from the ‘Short Stories’ Category

2
Jul

Bright Shards of Someplace Else

Twenty years ago, George Dawes Green wrote a book entitled The Juror about a young mother (Annie) chosen for jury duty for a high-profile murder trial of an organized crime mob boss. The story is filled with suspense and tension with the creepiest, most memorable part involving Annie’s best friend, Juliet – a strong, tough, and protective character – the  type of person we all want watching our back. Read more »

6
Mar

“The Emerald Light In The Air”

I’m not of this world.

The Emerald Light In The Air is a collection of short stories written by Donald Antrim that were originally published in the New Yorker Magazine. If you’ve never read Antrim’s work before (and, even if you have), it’s helpful to know a few things about him because his stories often mirror parts of his life.

Born in 1958, Antrim was raised in the south by an alcoholic seamstress mother and a father (a scholar of TS Eliot) who married and divorced twice. Moved from place to place, Antrim’s childhood was anything but idealic although boarding school and college (he graduated from Brown) paved the way to a writing career. Read more »

28
Jul

“Tell Everyone I Said Hi”

A taste of honey is worse than none at all.                                 ~Lionel Richie from I Second that Emotion

There are people who love a quick fix whether it be a piece of dark chocolate, a cup of espresso, or a short story that can be read in its entirety in ten minutes or less. Not that a whole chocolate bar, a mug of coffee or a 600 page novel aren’t fantastic – they certainly are – but there are times when a “hit” just makes your day a little happier and more satisfying. If you happen to agree, then Tell Everyone I Said Hi  is the book for you. Read more »

8
Jul

“The Lovers Set down Their Spoons”

They weave through the tables – their rain coats billowing out behind them like the kites you and I flew on that terrible day that began our love. Your kite kept wrapping around mine, and at first I thought it was sweet, but eventually mine nosedived into the sand.

In 2014, the Iowa Short Fiction Award was given to Heather A Slomski for The Lovers Who Set Down Their Spoons, a collection of 15 short stories that are thought-provoking, captivating, and haunting. Themes of love, loss and regret are heavily emphasized with symbolism and metaphors used to convey the message in the narratives that vary in length from 2-29 pages. Read more »

10
Jun

“Franny and Zooey”

An artist’s only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else’s.

Franny and Zooey is actually two short stories that were originally published in The New Yorker magazine: Franny, in the January 25, 1955 issue, and Zooey, in the May 4, 1957 issue. Written by J.D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey was published as a 2-chapter book in 1961 and is both a perplexing yet satisfying read that explores the meaning of life in its spiritual context. Read more »

8
Jan

“Nine Inches”

It’s easy to say you should let a kid follow his heart. But what if his heart takes him places you don’t want to go?

Nine Inches is a collection of short stories written by Tom Perrotta, an American writer, novelist and screenwriter who often writes of high school using all the drama of those years as a metaphor for life. Published in 2014, Nine Inches contains ten short stories written from the perspective of teenagers, adults, and senior citizens and, yet they all share a common theme: high school never really ends. Read more »

23
Nov

“This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage”

Only writing kept me from being swept into the dust heap of third grade, and for this reason I not only loved writing, I felt a strong sense of loyalty to it. I may have been shaky about tying my shoes or telling time, but I was sure about my career, and I consider this certainty the greatest gift of my life.

Read more »

13
Nov

“Here Beneath Low-Flying Planes”

Love the short story for what it is: a handful of glorious pages that take you someplace you never knew you wanted to go.                                                         Ann Patchett

Few people appreciate the short story although most are better written and clearly demand less of our time and attention than the novel. For me, short stories have always reminded me of those beautiful wooden Advent calendars with small doors. Beginning December 1st and continuing to December 24th, a numbered door is opened to reveal a small present – a ring, a chocolate, a key chain, perhaps, and sometimes a clever clue that if answered correctly leads to a treasured surprise: a scented soap, a kitchen utensil, a candle or a lovely writing pen. Each morning is filled with anticipation and then sheer happiness that lasts all day. Read more »

14
Sep

“The Fun Parts”

You think you know yourself, the world. You believe you’ve got a bead on everybody else’s bullshit, but what about your own?

Sam Lipsyte is a novelist and short story writer who recently (2013) published his fifth book: The Fun Parts – a collection of 13 short stories that rail against the wealthy, the weak, and the stupid. Humorous and often dark, the short stories are filled with characters who seem familiar – Holocaust survivors, the overweight teenager, the high school coach obsessed with the star athlete of another generation, the self-centered opportunist, the successful businessman – but who also seem distant and unreachable.  Everyone is damaged, deranged, in despair, dependent, selling out, or an outright lunatic in this contemporary collection of short stories. Read more »

3
Aug

“Tongues of Flame”

And suddenly the whole Pandora’s box of race, with all the unconscious, unintended, even unrecognized withholdings of respect, status, privilege, even rights we never thought about, much less understood at the time, embedded as they were in custom and usage, would open up to silence us completely.

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