Read Women

Short Story of the Day – Day 32

Marie-Helene Bertino’s “Free Ham”

Free Ham

Day Thirty-Two

Marie-Helene Bertino tweet

This post was meant for the first day of the month! And what a way to celebrate the first day of February! On this day the editors of The Forge Literary Magazine decided to republish one of Bertino’s stories from her collection and first book, Safe As HousesGo read it! It’s the first story in her book and a great one to segue to the rest of her wildly inventive and hilarious stories!

P.S. This is my second time one of Bertino’s stories makes its way into the Short Story of the Day series (obviously she’s one of my favorites) so you should check that post as well if you missed it!

19b4d-safeashouses

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Short Story of the Day – Day 30

Stephanie Vaughn’s “Dog Heaven

dog heaven

Day Thirty

Love, love, love this story. I’m so thankful that Tobias Wolff had chosen this story for a New Yorker Fiction podcast selection because I would’ve probably never encounter it any other way. This story definitely made me get Vaughn’s collection, Sweet Talk, which contained the story, and many others which were equally great. A hard copy reading is so much better than online reading. Definitely a must-read. Listen to Wolff read it. The New Yorker Fiction podcast is free and easy to download on iTunes!

Short Story of the Day – Day 28

Kathryn Chetkovich’s “Appetites”

Appetities story

Day Twenty-Eight

So this morning I really wanted and was in need of inspiration, so guess what I had in store to revisit? That’s right, my copy of The Best American Short Stories 1998. Man, that anthology sure is the best. I’d like to thank Professor Crandall, one of Fairfield’s great teachers, for the book recommendation.

The 1998 edition was a real eye opener in terms of exploring my love of the short story form. There’s a lot of great stories that I like to come back for reference or inspiration. Today, Kathryn Chetkovich’s story was on my mind. A lot of my admiration goes out to it, the way she handles the prose so fluidly and with ease really makes it a perfect story to read. To vividly see what a short story can do — it sure makes my heart flutter with enthusiasm to replicate the same.

1998 BASS

My copy of the 1998 BASS edition. My precious 🙂

Short Story of the Day – Day 27

Shelly Oria’s “New York 1, Tel Aviv 0”

Shelly Oria story

Day Twenty-Seven

“We look like two friends at a lit event, not like two-thirds of a three-way couple.”

As the end of January comes to a close, I’m quickly wrapping up the books I’ve started for 2016. Shelly Oria’s short story collection, New York 1, Tel Aviv O has been on my TBR list since last year but at last, enough was enough and I’ve pulled it as my next read.

The first story in the collection, and with the same title as the book, “New York 1, Tel Aviv 0” is a story of carefully constructed characters involved in a three-way affair. I’m prone to give away further details and possibly ruining the major plot so I’ll just leave it at that, for now…

Short Story of the Day – Day 26

Claire Vaye Watkins’ “The Last Thing We Need”

Claire Vaye Watkins

“Sometimes a person wants a part of you that’s no good. Sometimes love is a wound that opens and closes, opens and closes, all our lives.”

Day Twenty-Six

Claire Vaye Watkins. Battleborn. Riverhead Books. Enough said.

If there’s a short story collection that I’ll keep in my arsenal of recommendations, Watkins’ Battleborn is definitely one. If you can also get the audio version of her collection you’ll be doing yourself a favor just like I did =]

Claire Vaye Watkins is also a writer that, I feel, hasn’t received as much attention as she should have, with the latest, a novel, Gold Fame Citrus, briefly gaining momentum after it’s month of release. Truth be told, I haven’t read her novel myself, yet, but I plan on doing so ASAP.

Battleborn had a lot of great stories, stories I plan on mentioning in future posts so definitely stay tuned for those!

Short Story of the Day – Day 25

Virginia Woolf’s “In the Orchard”

In the Orchard

Day Twenty-Five

So Monday, January 25th was Virginia Woolf’s birthday so in her honor, I knew that day’s post just had to be one of her short stories. And thanks to Literary Hub, I was directed to just the right one to celebrate such an incredible writer – the best of all time, according to some!

First published in The Criterion (1923), one of the first things I noticed in this story was how the repetitive structure that surrounds it is similar in external events but differs in what is being told or focused.

Consisting of three parts, Virginia Woolf goes about highlighting different perspectives to make up the story. Each part starts with the same phrase: “Miranda slept in the orchard..” The story starts off with an emphasis on sounds, then wanders into Miranda’s thoughts about herself in relationship to the world. It ends with an account of the orchard space itself and on the relationship between the air and earth.

P.S. It’s said that this was one of Virginia Woolf’s experimental stories, her take on literary cubism (where the same scene is viewed from different perspectives). Pretty cool!

Short Story of the Day – Day 24

Aria Beth Sloss’ “North”

North

Day Twenty-Four

“When I was younger, and thought love was something the world owed you, I had to hide in my room when I wanted to cry over it, this great unfairness.”

Another recommendation that I got from my fiction class was reading Sloss’ story “North”, justly found in The Best American Short Stories 2015. This story explored the relationship between an adventurous father, stubbornly passionate about venturing to the North Pole, and his wife, whom he eventually leaves to conform with a loneliness that creeps along until it strikes as “sudden as a storm.”

Memorable scene:

“One evening, when my father finally emerges from one of his marathon swims, the sun hits him from behind just so; he is golden, glowing. The light is so strong it has the peculiar effect of drawing a second, shimmering man around the first, as though my father has doubled himself, gone into the water and emerged with a twin.”