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Posts tagged ‘Short Stories’


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 »


“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 »


“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 »


“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 »


“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 »


“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.

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“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 »


“What You’ve Been Missing”

Never judge a book by its cover…..

The cover art of What You’ve Been Missing is a painting by Roger Brown called It’s a Wonderful Lie and is as telling as the short story collection written by Janet Desaulniers. A rectangular piece of art divided into eight sections, It’s a Wonderful Lie depicts life as we live and the impending disaster ahead: we come together and marry; we divorce and part; we enjoy a drive in a convertible and unexpectedly get hit by a truck; we run our businesses and we go to jail; and finally, we exercise and strengthen our bodies only to succumb to death. Read more »


“Friendly Fire”

..honey, this is life. You learn to live with guilt. You do the best you can. Believe me, you don’t get away with anything in this life. You’re going to pay the price, so you make sure you get your money’s worth.

Friendly Fire, a collection of 11 short stories written by Kathryn Chetkovich was awarded the John Simmons Short Fiction Award from the University of Iowa. Although 16 years have passed since the book was published, this treasury of short stories is as relevant today as when they were first read in 1998. Forthright but with a subtle message and often open-ended, these stories don’t have twists or imply completion primarily because the stories deal with tough issues: envy, irony, dishonesty, loyalty, teenage angst, aging, friendship, marriage, love, lust, and responsibility – highly charged emotions that inspire loose ends and don’t take well to predictability. Read more »


“If I’d Known You Were Coming”

Everybody needs somebody. Just one other person who is as faithful to them as they are to themselves.

Winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award (the John Simons Short Fiction Award) in 2013, If I’d Known You Were Coming is a collection of 12 short stories written by Kate Milliken. Although each story stands alone, many of the colorful characters reappear in several of the narratives which makes parts of the book appear to be a novella. The common theme that runs through all the stories is the dysfunctional characters –  people who abandon or neglect their children, chase addictions, skirt responsibility, or succumb to their fears or desires – whose flaws impose great harm upon others.
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