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Thread: A short-story reading challenge in 2019

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  1. #15
    professional dilettante Lakey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    New England
    58. "Locker 13," Gill James, in Persimmon Tree (2019)
    Persimmon Tree is a literary magazine by and for women over 60. Two of its editorial board members are friends of my mother’s; when my story “The Candlestick” was published last year, I got a lovely encouraging note about it from one of them, and then of course immediately felt awkward about writing a story about the death of a lonely sick old woman. Anyway I have been reading to read some more stories in Persimmon Tree for a while, so I read this one. It was all right. Once it got going, there was enough of a ring of suspense in it to keep it moving. I might have preferred a more uncertain ending, but that’s not the story the author wanted to write, and there’s nothing wrong with resolving the mystery rather than leaving it hanging.

    59. “Tea Time in Salem,” Tamar Anolic, in Everyday Fiction (2019)
    Another story by someone to whom I have a tangential connection, this time via an alumnae group. This is a bit of historical flash fiction — the setting is exactly what the reference to Salem might make you think it is, though there is a clear political allegory, as there was when Arthur Miller chose the same setting for his critique of McCarthyism, The Crucible. The story is all right. I think I am not a huge fan of flash fiction. I feel the two women in this story, their experiences and their emotions, need more room to breathe. I would have preferred to see this story three times as long!


    Goal for 2019: 100 short stories

    Favorites of the year:
    1. “Children Are Bored on Sunday,” Jean Stafford, in The New Yorker (1948)
    9. “William Wilson,” Edgar Allen Poe, in Tales of Mystery and Imagination
    12. “The Good Deaths, Part II,” Angela Ambroz, in Beneath Ceaseless Skies (2014)
    24. "A whale, a tree, a vine," Sarah Norek, in West Branch (2018)
    28. “American Gothic,” Dan Moreau, in Third Coast (2018)
    31. “Cut,” Catherine Lacey, in The New Yorker (2019)
    51. "The Sinkhole," Joyce Li, in Brooklyn Review (2018)
    52. "Paper House," Stefan Kiesbye, in Delay (2019)
    54. "Cruel and Barbarous Treatment," Mary McCarthy, in The Company She Keeps (1942)

    My list of stories from the first half of the year is here.
    Last edited by Lakey; 08-23-2019 at 03:48 PM.
    There is no way of writing well and also of writing easily. --Anthony Trollope

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