February 2017 favorites


February 2017

The February stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘We Didn’t’ by Stuart Dybek
  2. ‘Separating’ by John Updike
  3. ‘A Retrieved Reformation’ by O. Henry
  4. ‘Postcard’ by Alice Munro
  5. ‘Aurora’ by Junot Diaz
  6. ‘Ligeia’ by Edgar Allan Poe
  7. ‘The Altar Of The Dead’ by Henry James
  8. ‘An Ounce Of Cure’ by Alice Munro
  9. ‘The Furnished Room’ by O. Henry
  10. ‘Transients In Arcadia’ by O. Henry
  11. ‘On The Gull’s Road’ by Willa Cather
  12. ‘The Skylight Room’ by O. Henry
  13. ‘How’ by Roxane Gay
  14. ‘Teller’s Ticket’ by Robert Flanagan
  15. ‘It Was Romance’ by Miranda July
  16. ‘The Romance Of A Busy Broker’ by O. Henry

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

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‘Aurora’ by Junot Diaz

Diaz, Junot 1996a

Aurora by Junot Diaz, 1996 Read the rest of this entry »

April 2016 favorites


April 2016

The April stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘The Garden Of The Forking Paths’ by Jorge Luis Borges
  2. ‘Walker Brothers Cowboy’ by Alice Munro
  3. ‘Red Dress – 1946’ by Alice Munro
  4. ‘The Bear Came Over The Mountain’ by Alice Munro
  5. ‘The Gospel According To Mark’ by Jorge Luis Borges
  6. ‘The Office’ by Alice Munro
  7. ‘You Could Look It Up’ by James Thurber
  8. ‘Runaway’ by Alice Munro
  9. ‘Ambush’ by Donna Tartt
  10. ‘Sanity’ by Tobias Wolff
  11. ‘Edison, New Jersey’ by Junot Diaz
  12. ‘The Library Of Babel’ by Jorge Luis Borges
  13. ‘The Approach To Al-Mu’tasim’ by Jorge Luis Borges
  14. ‘Late’ by Steven Millhauser
  15. ‘Serve-And-Volley Near Vichy’ by Greg Jackson
  16. ‘On Exactitude In Science’ by Jorge Luis Borges
  17. ‘Do Stay, Giraffe’ by Wolfgang Borchert

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

‘Edison, New Jersey’ by Junot Diaz

Diaz, Junot 1996

Edison, New Jersey by Junot Diaz, 1996 Read the rest of this entry »

February 2015 favorites


February 2015

The February stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Death In The Woods’ by Sherwood Anderson
  2. ‘Cheap In August’ by Graham Greene
  3. ‘Debarking’ by Lorrie Moore
  4. ‘The Juniper Tree’ by Lorrie Moore
  5. ‘Flight’ by John O’Hara
  6. ‘To Build A Fire’ by Jack London
  7. ‘Harvey’s Dream’ by Stephen King
  8. ‘The Keyhole Eye’ by John Stewart Carter
  9. ‘The First Flower’ by Augusta Wallace Lyons
  10. ‘Subject To Search’ by Lorrie Moore
  11. ‘Thank You For Having Me’ by Lorrie Moore
  12. ‘Foes’ by Lorrie Moore
  13. ‘Spring In Fialta’ by Vladimir Nabokov
  14. ‘Talk To The Music’ by Arna Bontemps
  15. ‘The Contest For Aaron Gold’ by Philip Roth
  16. ‘The Old Army Game’ by George Garrett
  17. ‘Alma’ by Junot Diaz
  18. ‘Children Are Bored On Sunday’ by Jean Stafford
  19. ‘A Long Day’s Dying’ by William Eastlake
  20. ‘To The Wilderness I Wander’ by Frank Butler
  21. ‘Mammon And The Archer’ by O. Henry

‘Alma’ by Junot Diaz


Alma by Junot Diaz, 2007

The magic trick:

Treating the end of a relationship with humor

We’ve had too much happiness here at SSMT this Valentine’s Week. Time for a good old-fashioned story about love gone wrong. Enter Junot Diaz.

“Alma” is a very funny story. Yunior, as always, is straight-to-the-point about why the relationship started and why it failed. His descriptions and pop-culture references are easily relatable and funny. The conflict is a classic: Alma discovers Yunior’s journal entry confessing to his cheating with another girl from school. His excuse – “Baby, this is part of my novel.” – is pretty good.

The end of a relationship doesn’t always have to be doom and gloom. “Alma” reminds us that, with some perspective at least, it can be pretty damn funny. And that’s quite a trick on Diaz’s part.

The selection:

Alma is slender as a reed, you a steroid-addicted block; Alma loves driving, you books; Alma owns a Saturn (bought for her by her carpenter father, who speaks only English in the house), you have no points on your license; Alma’s nails are too dirty for cooking, your spaghetti con pollo is the best in the land.


January 2015 favorites


January 2015

The January stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘How I Met My Husband’ by Alice Munro
  2. ‘Bardon Bus’ by Alice Munro
  3. ‘One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts’ by Shirley Jackson
  4. ‘The Open Boat’ by Stephen Crane
  5. ‘Where I’m Calling From’ by Raymond Carver
  6. ‘The Drunkard’ by Frank O’Connor
  7. ‘The Wind And The Snow Of Winter’ by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
  8. ‘Everyday Use’ by Alice Walker
  9. ‘The Enormous Radio’ by John Cheever
  10. ‘The View From Castle Rock’ by Alice Munro
  11. ‘Boys And Girls’ by Alice Munro
  12. ‘The Sun, The Moon, The Stars’ by Junot Diaz
  13. ‘The Skull’ by Philip K. Dick
  14. ‘The NRACP’ by George P. Elliott
  15. ‘Train’ by Alice Munro
  16. ‘The Other Foot’ by Ray Bradbury
  17. ‘Pigeon Feathers’ by John Updike
  18. ‘Jokester’ by Isaac Asimov
  19. ‘Tell Me A Riddle’ by Tillie Olsen
  20. ‘The Speech Of Polly Baker’ by Benjamin Franklin
  21. ‘The Star’ by Arthur C. Clarke