Posts Tagged: short stories
When The Bennington Review re-launched this past April after thirty years, its first issue packed a table of contents studded with prize-winning authors and exciting emerging voices. This week, to our good fortune, the biannual print publication has made several of its pieces available online, among them new short fiction from Iranian-American writer Porochista Khakpour, author of the acclaimed novels The Last Illusion and Sons and Other Flammable Objects....more
Rion Amilcar Scott’s debut collection Insurrections—our July Rumpus Book Club pick—comes out from University Press of Kentucky on Tuesday and is a timely and vital look into the daily struggles of individuals in the mostly black community of Cross River, Maryland, a fictional town that was founded by slaves in 1807 after a successful revolt....more
Irish author Danielle McLaughlin didn’t start writing fiction until 2010, but in the years since she has amassed an impressive collection of writing awards, including the William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen International Short Story Competition, and has twice placed stories in the New Yorker....more
A novel wants to befriend you, a short story almost never.
Over at VICE, Lincoln Michel nabbed the elusive and brilliant Joy Williams for an interview about her newest short story collection, ninety-nine stories of God. Her answers are wonderful in their minimalist nature, and for lovers of lists she even included “8 Essential Attributes of the Short Story (and one way it differs from a novel).”...more
The summer issue of Asymptote was published this week with a gorgeous spread of short fiction in translation from Spanish, Croatian, Persian, and more. If you’re not already familiar the journal, it publishes English translations of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and more from across the globe (the website cites 105 countries and 84 languages so far) alongside the original text and often accompanied by audio of the author or translator reading an excerpt in the original language, making it a treasure trove for language nerds and literature lovers alike....more
It’s July, and the summer issues of literary magazines are rolling off both the physical and cyber presses, including Virginia Quarterly Review, which this week shared a story from its summer print issue online. In “Dixon” by Bret Anthony Johnston, author of the bestselling novel Remember Me Like This and the award-winning collection Corpus Christi, a father risks border patrol agents and losing his job to illegally sell a shipment of Dairy Queen kid’s meal toys in an effort to save his daughter....more
… Initiation into the system of words Beckett was working with in the mid-1960s is more complicated, not least because the system was corrupted, a failure…
Over at the Guardian, Chris Power writes about the short prose of Samuel Beckett, from first attempts “stinking of Joyce” to the complete breakdown of language itself as presented by later work—its glory and difficulty and brilliance and frailty....more
This week, Guernica has a new story from author and veteran Odie Lindsey, whose debut story collection about soldiers coming home from war, We Come to Our Senses, will be published by W.W. Norton later this month. Included in the collection, “Bird (on back)” picks up in the middle of a disintegrating relationship between an unemployed diorama artist and his vibrant but terminally ill girlfriend, who before they met contracted a sexually transmitted autoimmune disease from a soldier on leave....more
Each story was inspired by anything from a personal memory or a family anecdote to a news item or something I had heard happen to someone else. Or sometimes it was a formal challenge in combination with those things: for instance, I love short stories written from the collective first person point of view, so I wanted to try that.
There’s a new short story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in the world this week, and it’s a Mrs. Dalloway-style imagination of a day in the life of Melania Trump as she plans a dinner party. The story, titled “The Arrangements,” is the New York Times Book Review’s first-ever commissioned piece of fiction (to be followed, for the sake of bipartisanship, by a second story from a different author on the Clintons in the fall)....more
This week at Recommended Reading, PEN America offers an excerpt from Brazilian author Noemi Jaffe’s novel Írisz: as orquídeas, which is remarkable for many reasons, one of them being that this is so far the only opportunity to read part of the Portuguese-language novel in English translation....more
This week, Karen Russell of Swamplandia! fame has a new story in The New Yorker that unearths the self-deceptions beneath what we often think is love, and also unearths a body. In “The Bog Girl,” a teenage boy named Cillian digs up the 2,000-year-old body of a girl that has been perfectly preserved by a peat bog and then, with Russell’s classic flair for the imaginative and the creepy, falls immediately in love with her....more
In a darkly humorous new story at n+1, Jen George questions the qualifications of being “adult,” gives thirty-somethings across the world nightmares, and packs in plenty of social criticism while she’s at it. The story, “Guidance/The Party,” follows a single, childless, career-less, 33-year-old woman who is visited by a mysterious Guide....more
At Electric Literature, Amber Sparks writes about the short story as the critically darling but commercially nonviable art form it is—and how we need to stop telling short story writers to write novels....more
The New Yorker hosted a discussion about a previously unpublished Langston Hughes short story with Arnold Rampersand, who wrote a two-volume biography of the Harlem Renaissance poet, and first discovered the unpublished story thirty years ago. The story, “Seven People Dancing,” explores themes of sexuality and expression:
I think that his cruelly comic, or comically cruel, vision of humanity is at play here in a dominant way.
Late the next night a noise roused me from my sleep—wailing and cursing and then banging, more banging than ever, both fists full-force against the plaster. Filtered through the sleep haze, I couldn’t make sense of the commotion.
Thomas Pierce made a name for himself as a talented spinner of strange stories with his debut collection Hall of Small Mammals, and in a new story at The Masters Review, Pierce crafts another weird and wonderful tale—and this time it’s written entirely in questions....more