Short Stories

  • Hotel of the Saints

    Ursula Hegi

    It’s been a long while since I even tried to read a short story collection—I read a lot of short stories in 2003 and I daresay it burnt me out. So I was glad that Melanie sent me this Ursula Hegi collection for my birthday. A nice reminder of my appreciation of...more

  • The Dove’s Nest and other stories

    Katherine Mansfield

    This probably wasn’t the best book of Mansfield’s to get, as only the first group of stories are “finished” and the rest of the book is just fragments put together after she died suddenly. The stories are very short and concise, which was an interesting contrast to the Munro stories. But I’m not really into...more

  • Runaway

    Alice Munro

    For the most part I felt disappointed with Munro’s new collection, though there are a few stories that I liked a lot. I’d read the title story in the New Yorker a few months ago, so perhaps that one just wasn’t as fresh in a re-reading. The trio of stories involving Juliet were pretty good as a set, but I felt that none of...more

  • 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

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