November 2017 favorites

November 2017

The November stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Offertory’ by Amy Hempel
  2. ‘A Summer Tragedy’ by Arna Bontemps
  3. ‘Who’s Passing For Who?’ by Langston Hughes
  4. ‘He Also Loved’ by Claude McKay
  5. ‘There Was Once’ by Margaret Atwood
  6. ‘The Cut-Glass Bowl’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  7. ‘The Cousins’ by Joyce Carol Oates
  8. ‘Until The Girl Died’ by Anne Enright
  9. ‘And/Or’ by Sterling Brown
  10. ‘Hunting The Deceitful Turkey’ by Mark Twain
  11. ‘The Jockey’ by Carson McCullers
  12. ‘Little Man’ by Michael Cunningham
  13. ‘Love Song, For A Moog Synthesizer’ by John Updike

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

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November 2016 favorites

november2016

November 2016

The November stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘The Tree Line, Kansas, 1934’ by David Means
  2. ‘The Gift’ by John Steinbeck
  3. ‘Dance Of The Happy Shades’ by Alice Munro
  4. ‘Gloomy Tune’ by Grace Paley
  5. ‘Mastiff’ by Joyce Carol Oates
  6. ‘The Contest’ by Grace Paley
  7. ‘At The Bay’ by Katherine Mansfield
  8. ‘War Dances’ by Sherman Alexie
  9. ‘The Shining Houses’ by Alice Munro
  10. ‘An Honest Woman’ by Ottessa Moshfegh
  11. ‘Night Women’ by Edwidge Danticat
  12. ‘A Presidential Candidate’ by Mark Twain
  13. ‘Wants’ by Grace Paley
  14. ‘Love’ by Grace Paley
  15. ‘Debts’ by Grace Paley

March 2016 favorites

March2016

March 2016

The March stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Dog Heaven’ by Stephanie Vaughn
  2. ‘A Country Doctor’ by Franz Kafka
  3. ‘The Judgment’ by Franz Kafka
  4. ‘Robert Kennedy Saved From Drowning’ by Donald Barthelme
  5. ‘The Hunger Artist’ by Franz Kafka
  6. ‘Blumfeld, An Elderly Bachelor’ by Franz Kafka
  7. ‘Herself In Love’ by Marianne Wiggins
  8. ‘Gorilla, My Love’ by Toni Cade Bambara
  9. ‘Her Son’ by Isaac Bashevis Singer
  10. ‘Niagara’ by Mark Twain
  11. ‘I Stand Here Ironing’ by Tillie Olsen
  12. ‘Dance In America’ by Lorrie Moore
  13. ‘The Working Girl’ by Ann Beattie
  14. ‘The World Of Apples’ by John Cheever
  15. ‘This Is A Story About My Friend George, The Toy Inventor’ by Grace Paley
  16. ‘A Little Woman’ by Franz Kafka

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

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.

November 2014 favorites

november2014

November 2014

The November stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Chickamauga’ by Ambrose Bierce
  2. ‘Paul’s Case’ by Willa Cather
  3. ‘The Veldt’ by Ray Bradbury
  4. ‘The Story Of An Hour’ by Kate Chopin
  5. ‘Of This Time, Of That Place’ by Lionel Trilling
  6. ‘The Nose’ by Nikolai Gogol
  7. ‘A White Heron’ by Sarah Orne Jewett
  8. ‘A Circle In The Fire’ by Flannery O’Connor
  9. ‘Going For A Beer’ by Robert Coover
  10. ‘Two Thanksgiving Gentlemen’ by O. Henry
  11. ‘Dawn Of Remembered Spring’ by Jesse Stuart
  12. ‘The Middle Years’ by Henry James
  13. ‘The Catbird Seat’ by James Thurber
  14. ‘The Wonderful Tar-Baby Story’ by Joel Chandler Harris
  15. ‘The Peach Stone’ by Paul Horgan
  16. ‘Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius’ by Jorge Luis Borges
  17. ‘An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving’ by Louisa May Alcott
  18. ‘Who Lived And Died Believing’ by Nancy Hale
  19. ‘The Devil And Tom Walker’ by Washington Irving
  20. ‘The Facts Concerning The Recent Carnival Of Crime In Connecticut’ by Mark Twain

‘The Facts Concerning The Recent Carnival Of Crime In Connecticut’ by Mark Twain

Twain, Mark 1876

The Facts Concerning The Recent Carnival Of Crime In Connecticut by Mark Twain, 1876

The magic trick:

Making the reader wait a really long time for the titles payoff

Far be it from me to criticize Mark Twain but…. Let’s be honest. This story is pretty dumb. I do like the absurdity of the plot’s imbalance. It opens as a family story, honoring the narrator’s aunt; shifts abruptly into a surrealist comedy pitting the narrator against his own conscience (in the form of a dwarf); and ends with an insane, figurative drop of the cliff. The carnival of crime, alluded to in the title, is never even mentioned until the very end of the story. It’s a very silly way to construct a story, which, I suppose is probably part of the joke. And that’s quite a trick on Twain’s part.

The selection:

With an exultant shout I sprang past my aunt, and in an instant I had my life-long foe by the throat. After so many years of waiting and longing, he was mine at last.

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