Fatal Short Stories

By

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's fiction has appeared in 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, Joyland Magazine, and elsewhere and nonfiction has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, The Negatives, Electric Literature, Fiction Advocate, and elsewhere. He is the Deputy Editor of The Rumpus, holds an MA in English from Rutgers University, tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at IanMacAllen.com. More from this author →