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Thread: A short-story reading challenge in 2019

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  1. #17
    Benefactor Member mrsmig's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
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    I continue to make my way through the O. Henry Prize anthology. My two most recent reads were quite good: "Why Were They Throwing Bricks?" by Jenny Zhang is about the relationship between a Chinese-American girl and her controlling grandmother. It started off slow, and the grandmother's manipulation of the narrator and her younger brother is off-putting at first, but once I found the author's rhythm it all pulled together. "An Amount of Discretion" by Lauren Alwan is another grandmother/grand-daughter story, but completely different: the widow of a prominent artist has invited her stepson to lunch, with the intention of giving him a set of his father's sketchbooks even though her husband's will calls for all his works to be donated to the institute where he taught. The stepson arrives with his fiancee and her young daughter in tow. Things do no go smoothly.

    I liked both stories, but was really intrigued by the Alwan piece. The story builds slowly, the descriptions are beautiful, and the main character's reactions to her stepson's new family are nuanced and complicated. (The story is available to read online via Project Muse, here: An Amount of Discretion.)

    1. "Cookies for Ghost" by Emily McCosh (Daily Science Fiction)
    2. "The Lord of the Beasts" by Zac Smith (Jellyfish Review)
    3. "The Hostile Truth" by Claire Guyton (Jellyfish Review)
    4. "The Tomb of Wrestling" by Jo Ann Beard (O. Henry Prize Stories Anthology 2018)
    5. "Nayla" by Youmna Chlala (O. Henry Prize Stories Anthology 2018)
    6. "Lucky Dragon" by Viet Dinh (O. Henry Prize Stories Anthology 2018)
    7. "Stop 'n' Go" by Michael Parker (O. Henry Prize Stories Anthology 2018)
    8. "Past Perfect Continuous" by Dounia Choukri (O. Henry Prize Stories Anthology 2018)
    9. "Inversion of Marcia" by Thomas Bolt (O. Henry Prize Stories Anthology 2018)
    10. "Nights in Logar" by Jamil Jan Kochai (O. Henry Prize Stories Anthology 2018)
    11. "How We Eat" by Mark Jude Poirier (O. Henry Prize Stories Anthology 2018)
    12. "Deaf and Blind" by Lara Vapnyar (O. Henry Prize Stories Anthology 2018)
    13. "Why Were They Throwing Bricks?" by Jenny Zhang (O. Henry Prize Stories Anthology 2018)
    14. "An Amount of Discretion" by Lauren Alwan (O. Henry Prize Stories Anthology 2018)

    Last edited by mrsmig; Yesterday at 05:24 PM.






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