Fatal Short Stories


Depictions of death in short stories can challenge even seasoned writers. John McDonough, writing in the Colorado Review, explains why:

The immediacy of the death of a loved one offers rich emotional possibilities, but ones that are remarkably complicated. Mine these emotions too heavily and you run the risk of sentimentality, but too cautious an approach fails to carry appropriate weight.

Overcoming these challenges can produce powerful results—McDonough explores examples from writers Alice Munro and Cynthia Ozick.

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at IanMacAllen.com. More from this author →