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
Posts Tagged: short stories
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The New Yorker hosted a discussion about a previously unpublished Langston Hughes short story with Arnold Rampersand, who wrote a two-volume biography of the Harlem Renaissance poet, and first discovered the unpublished story thirty years ago.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
British author Mark Haddon is best known for his smash hit of a first novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, but he’s far from a one-hit wonder. He’s penned two other novels, numerous youth titles, a volume of poetry, and now a collection of short stories....more
For the New York Times, Lydia Kiesling reflects on Sara Majka’s debut collection, Cities I’ve Never Lived In:
I assumed right away that I knew exactly what kind of book this would be: a book about arty people with complicated personal lives, who use the word “lover” and contemplate wintry landscapes from lonely trains… But Majka brings the reader to startling places.
Stories are much more unified and coherent. One gesture, one metaphor, one set piece.
For Signature, Jennie Yabroff interviews one of the three “Brooklyn Jonathans,” Jonathan Lethem, on the creation of his latest short story collection, Lucky Alan: his move to Southern California, the assembly of the book, and the editing—oh, the editing....more
Three more anthologies published last year suggest that while the [short] story remains one of our most flexible popular literary forms, and the quickest to absorb signals from the culture, if we’re on the verge of another revolution, the shockwaves haven’t registered yet.
Far from dying out, short stories have become more popular over the last five years. For the New York Times, Paris Review editor Lorin Stein articulates the value of literary solitude in a public world:
You can’t be worrying how you sound.
If rats then represent terror and chickens innocent striving for something approaching authenticity, humans, for Lispector, are strangely in the middle, often stricken with fear, or handing out terror, but ready also to soar or break loose or achieve some freedom or be fully alert to their fate in a time short enough for one of her stories to be enacted.
Are you wandering the plazas of Grenoble, France, looking to spend a few minutes immersed in a story? But unfortunately, you left your Flannery O’Connor novel in the hotel room? No worries—Short Édition has your back. Er, your book. 24 hours a day, the publisher’s new vending machines offer up six hundred short stories, selectable in a unit of one, three, or five minute lengths....more