February 2016 favorites

Feb2016

February 2016

The February stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge’ by Ambrose Bierce
  2. ‘A Horseman In The Sky’ by Ambrose Bierce
  3. ‘Slave On The Block’ by Langston Hughes
  4. ‘The Celebrated Jumping Frog Of Calaveras County’ by Mark Twain
  5. ‘Killed At Resaca’ by Ambrose Bierce
  6. ‘Gimpel The Fool’ by Isaac Bashevis Singer
  7. ‘The Steadfast Tin Soldier’ by Hans Christian Andersen
  8. ‘Four Days In Dixie’ by Ambrose Bierce
  9. ‘What We Talk About When We Talk About Love’ by Raymond Carver
  10. ‘The Offshore Pirate’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  11. ‘Me And Miss Mandible’ by Donald Barthelme
  12. ‘The Eighty-Yard Run’ by Irwin Shaw
  13. ‘A Baffled Ambuscade’ by Ambrose Bierce
  14. ‘Beginners’ by Raymond Carver
  15. ‘What We Don’t Know Hurts Us’ by Mark Schorer
  16. ‘Durling, Or The Faithless Wife’ by Sean O’Faolain
  17. ‘First Husband’ by Antonya Nelson
  18. ‘Somewhere Else’ by Grace Paley
  19. ‘Long Walk To Forever’ by Kurt Vonnegut
  20. ‘Zapatos’ by T. Coraghessan Boyle

What do you think about this list? As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

May 2015 favorites

May2015

May 2015

The May stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Medal From Jerusalem’ by Irwin Shaw
  2. ‘A Silver Dish’ by Saul Bellow
  3. ‘Hills Like White Elephants’ by Ernest Hemingway
  4. ‘One Off The Short List’ by Doris Lessing
  5. ‘Neighbors’ by Diane Oliver
  6. ‘Drenched In Light’ by Zora Neale Hurston
  7. ‘The Snows Of Kilimanjaro’ by Ernest Hemingway
  8. ‘Eli, The Fanatic’ by Philip Roth
  9. ‘The Gift Of The Prodigal’ by Peter Taylor
  10. ‘Che Ti Dice La Patria?’ by Ernest Hemingway
  11. ‘A Clean, Well-Lighted Place’ by Ernest Hemingway
  12. ‘The New Order’ by Nancy Hale
  13. ‘Three Million Yen’ by Yukio Mishima
  14. ‘The Supper’ by Tadeusz Borowski
  15. ‘The Interior Castle’ by Jean Stafford
  16. ‘How I Contemplated The World From The Detroit House Of Correction And Began My Life Over Again’ by Joyce Carol Oates
  17. ‘A Simple Enquiry’ by Ernest Hemingway
  18. ‘Janus’ by Ann Beattie
  19. ‘Family Portrait’ by Sherman Alexie
  20. ‘Champion’ by Ring Lardner
  21. ‘The End Of The World’ by Dino Buzzati

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

‘Search Through The Streets Of The City’ by Irwin Shaw

Shaw, Irwin 1942

Search Through The Streets Of The City by Irwin Shaw, 1942

The magic trick:

Capturing well the feeling of having said too much

There is a feeling, I’m not proud to admit I’ve known on more than one occasion, in which a person in a flurry of emotion loses track of right and wrong. This person must express their feelings at all cost, putting the receiver in an impossible and, usually unfair, position. The guilty party almost immediately realizes the mistake, knows the expression will not be reciprocated, and the whole scene ends very badly. It’s not pleasant, but it happens, as this story bears witness. And that’s quite a trick on Shaw’s part.

The selection:

“Two years,” Paul said. “I’ve gone out with a lot of girls in the last two years.” He shrugged. “They’ve bored me and I’ve bored them. I keep looking at every woman who passes to see if it’s you. All the girls I go out with bawl the hell out of me for it. I’ve been walking around, following girls with dark hair to see if it’ll turn out to be you, and girls with a fur jacket like that old one you had, and girls that walk in that silly, beautiful way you walk. I’ve been searching the streets of the city for you for two years and this is the first time I’ve admitted it even to myself…”