August 2018 favorites

August 2018

The August stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘The Comforts Of Home’ by Flannery O’Connor
  2. ‘Petrified Man’ by Eudora Welty
  3. ‘Where Is The Voice Coming From?’ by Eudora Welty
  4. ‘Hair’ by William Faulkner
  5. ‘Dogs Go Wolf’ by Lauren Groff
  6. ‘A Pair Of Silk Stockings’ by Kate Chopin
  7. ‘Lily Daw And The Three Ladies’ by Eudora Welty
  8. ‘Knowing He Was Not My Kind Yet I Followed’ by Barry Hannah
  9. ‘My Side Of The Matter’ by Truman Capote
  10. ‘The Homecoming’ by Frank Yerby
  11. ‘A Memory’ by Eudora Welty
  12. ‘The Confidence Man’ by George Garrett
  13. ‘A Curtain Of Green’ by Eudora Welty
  14. ‘Wunderkind’ by Carson McCullers
  15. ‘The Man With Two Left Feet’ by P.G. Wodehouse
  16. ‘Porte-Cochere’ by Peter Taylor
  17. ‘A Mother’s Tale’ by James Agee

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

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July 2017 favorites

July 2017

The July stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Death And The Compass’ by Jorge Luis Borges
  2. ‘Why I Live At The P.O.’ by Eudora Welty
  3. ‘Cathedral’ by Raymond Carver
  4. ‘The Whole Town’s Sleeping’ by Ray Bradbury
  5. ‘Water Liars’ by Barry Hannah
  6. ‘A Case Of Identity’ by Arthur Conan Doyle
  7. ‘The Mystery Of The Spanish Chest’ by Agatha Christie
  8. ‘Coming Close To Donna’ by Barry Hannah
  9. ‘The Blind Man’ by D.H. Lawrence
  10. ‘Midnight And I’m Not Famous Yet’ by Barry Hannah
  11. ‘The Oracle Of The Dog’ by G.K. Chesterton
  12. ‘Even Greenland’ by Barry Hannah
  13. ‘Republica Y Grau’ by Daniel Alarcón
  14. ‘Good Boys Deserve Favors’ by Neil Gaiman
  15. ‘North Coast’ by Thomas McGuane
  16. ‘Trek’ by Barry Hannah
  17. ‘Cowardice’ by Abdeslam Boulaich

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

July 2014 favorites

july2014

July 2014

The July stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

1.       ‘Hot Ice’ by Stuart Dybek
2.       ‘The Babysitter’ by Robert Coover
3.       ‘Jeeves And The Impending Doom’ by P.G. Wodehouse
4.       ‘A Solo Song: For Doc’ by James Alan McPherson
5.       ‘City Boy’ by Leonard Michaels
6.       ‘You’re Ugly, Too’ by Lorrie Moore
7.       ‘The Flats Road’ by Alice Munro
8.       ‘Greasy Lake’ by T. Coraghessan Boyle
9.       ‘Train’ by Joy Williams
10.     ‘Testimony Of Pilot’ by Barry Hannah
11.     ‘The Joy Luck Club’ by Amy Tan
12.    ‘Liars In Love’ by Richard Yates
13.     ‘How To Date A Brown Girl (Black Girl, White Girl, Or Halfie)’ by Junot Diaz
14.    ‘A Poetics For Bullies’ by Stanley Elkin
15.     ‘Greenwich Time’ by Ann Beattie
16.     ‘Pretty Ice’ by Mary Robison
17.     ‘Lechery’ by Jayne Anne Phillips
18.     ‘Here Come The Maples’ by John Updike
19.     ‘Territory’ by David Leavitt
20.     ‘Bridging’ by Max Apple
21.     ‘The Circling Hand’ by Jamaica Kincaid
22.     ‘Are These Actual Miles?’ by Raymond Carver
23.     ‘The Other Wife’ by Colette
24.     ‘A.V. Laider’ by Max Beerbohm
25.     ‘White Rat’ by Gayl Jones
26.     ‘Search Through The Streets Of The City’ by Irwin Shaw
27.     ‘The Dead Man’ by Horacio Quiroga
28.     ‘A Life In The Day Of A Writer’ by Tess Slesinger
29.     ‘In The Heart Of The Heart Of The Country’ by William Gass
30.     ‘The Indian Uprising’ by Donald Barthelme
31.     ‘The Facts Of Life’ by Somerset Maugham

‘Testimony Of Pilot’ by Barry Hannah

hannah, barry 1978

Testimony Of Pilot by Barry Hannah, 1978

The magic trick:

The hardness and distance in the narrators tone contrasted with moments of sweetness

Generally speaking, the narrator of this story comes off as a fairly tough customer. He often is egotistical about his success as a lover and his abilities as a drummer. He withholds regret, even as he reports the dastardly deed of hitting Quadberry in the eye with the battery early in the story. The whole tone is distanced.

All of that makes the few moments of sweetness the narrator does allow that much more powerful. Through this contrast, the reader is able to understand just how important Quadberry was to this man. The story’s last sentence – one such moment of sweetness – just floors me. And that’s quite a trick on Hannah’s part.

The selection:

Lillian asked me what she was supposed to do now. I told her she was supposed to come with me to my apartment in the old 1920 Clinton place where I was. I was supposed to take care of her. Quadberry had said so. His six-year-old directive was still working.