Short Stories

  • Dogwalker

    Arthur Bradford

    the unsettling thing about this book is that the first-person narrators to these twelve stories could all be the same person but aren’t; they all have this innocence and nonchalance at surreal events that is intended to be humorous. it kind of reminds me of...more

  • The Laying on of Hands

    Alan Bennett

    i picked this up browsing at the library. supposedly Bennett has an “extraordinary ear for dialogue.” the three stories in this small book are all very funny, in a british comedy sort of way. in fact, the “Father! Father! Burning Bright” was originally a TV movie starring the author in 1982. i liked how the title story...more

  • Interpreter of Maladies

    Jhumpa Lahiri

    it’s been a little while since i read any short stories (for me, at least). this is a great collection set mostly in boston/new england or india. my favorite was the first one, “A Temporary Matter,” where a couple reveal secrets during nightly planned power outages. they are all pretty...more

  • The Elephant Vanishes

    Haruki Murakami

    i’ve definitely fallen into Murakami’s style now, the very fantastic, science fiction twinged fables. After the Quake, as a collection, was far more striking. but a few of these stories stand out with an obvious sense of humor or enjoyable haunting mysteriousness — “The...more

  • The River of Lost Voices

    Mark Brazaitis

    written by one of sandi’s professors at wvu, these stories are all set in guatemala. it’s a little weird reading stories about guatemala from the perspective of a white american, but he seems to bring light to the tense and...more

  • Ship Fever

    Andrea Barrett

    the back of the book claims these are “set against the backdrop of the nineteenth century.” i don’t want to nitpick or anything, but several are mostly set in the twentieth century and two are set in the eighteenth century.

    the stories all hinge on the sciences — from genetics to zoology to public health to several other...more

  • The Stories of John Cheever

    John Cheever

    i only read about a third of this, since 700 pages of short stories seemed like a bit much all at once. even if i have been reading so many short story collections lately. these are set mostly in nyc, various times between the 1930s and 1950s with a range of class focuses. Cheever has exciting insights into his characters. i loved the slightly...more

  • Close Range

    Annie Proulx

    sometimes i don’t know if it’s that the stories get better as they come or if it just takes a few to get into the general feel. having been in wyoming last year, it’s nice to have a sense of how attuned the descriptions of scenery and atmosphere are in this collection. the longer stories are easy favorites: “Pair of Spurs”...more

  • Circling the Drain

    Amanda Davis

    it’s kind of morbid that i sought this book out after reading Davis’s obituary in march. she also published a novel entitled...more

  • Across the Bridge

    Mavis Gallant

    the april 2003 issue of Harper’s had a review of the two new collections of Gallan’s stories—being published by The New York Review of Books (...more

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