November 2021 favorites

November 2021

The November stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘The Turkey Season’ by Alice Munro
  2. ‘Jericho’s Brick Battlements’ by Margaret Laurence
  3. ‘Hair Jewellery’ by Margaret Atwood
  4. ‘Extra’ by Yiyun Li
  5. ‘Miss Harriet’ by Guy de Maupassant
  6. ‘Storm In A Teacup’ by Lu Xun
  7. ‘Guy de Maupassant’ by Isaac Babel
  8. ‘Idyll’ by Guy de Maupassant
  9. ‘A Clean Marriage’ by Sayaka Murata
  10. ‘Confessing’ by Guy de Maupassant
  11. ‘Medicine’ by Lu Xun
  12. ‘Omakase’ by Weike Wang
  13. ‘Mateo Falcone’ by Prosper Mérimée
  14. ‘A Wedding-Dress’ by Morley Callaghan
  15. ‘Aftermath’ by Mary Yukari Waters
  16. ‘Offside Constantly’ by Camille Bordas
  17. ‘Helix’ by Banana Yoshimoto
  18. ‘One Arm’ by Yasunari Kawabata
  19. ‘My Financial Career’ by Stephen Leacock
  20. ‘My Life Is A Joke’ by Sheila Heti
  21. ‘The Dark Lantern’ by Jules Renard

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

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September 2014 favorites


September 2014

The September stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘The Lady With The Little Dog’ by Anton Chekhov
  2. ‘Barn Burning’ by William Faulkner
  3. ‘Gooseberries’ by Anton Chekhov
  4. ‘The Man In A Case’ by Anton Chekhov
  5. ‘The Tall Men’ by William Faulkner
  6. ‘The Ice Palace’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  7. ‘May Day’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  8. ‘Pomegranate Seed’ by Edith Wharton
  9. ‘That Evening Sun’ by William Faulkner
  10. ‘The Student’ by Anton Chekhov
  11. ‘About Love’ by Anton Chekhov
  12. ‘A Bear Hunt’ by William Faulkner
  13. ‘The Diamond As Big As The Ritz’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  14. ‘His Father’s Son’ by Edith Wharton
  15. ‘The Jelly-Bean’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  16. ‘Hand Upon The Waters’ by William Faulkner
  17. ‘The Other Two’ by Edith Wharton
  18. ‘Winter Dreams’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  19. ‘April Showers’ by Edith Wharton
  20. ‘The Fullness Of Life’ by Edith Wharton
  21. ‘A Cap For Steve’ by Morley Callaghan
  22. ‘The Net’ by Robert M. Coates

June 2014 favorites


June 2014

The June stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Venus, Cupid, Folly And Time’ by Peter Taylor
  2. ‘Blackberry Winter’ by Robert Penn Warren
  3. ‘Babylon Revisited’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  4. ‘Upon The Sweeping Flood’ by Joyce Carol Oates
  5. ‘Good Country People’ by Flannery O’Connor
  6. ‘My Old Man’ by Ernest Hemingway
  7. ‘I’m A Fool’ by Sherwood Anderson
  8. ‘Sonny’s Blues’ by James Baldwin
  9. ‘Only The Dead Know Brooklyn’ by Thomas Wolfe
  10. ‘Double Birthday’ by Willa Cather
  11. ‘The View From The Balcony’ by Wallace Stegner
  12. ‘The Magic Barrel’ by Bernard Malamud
  13. ‘No Place For You, My Love’ by Eudora Welty
  14. ‘The Schreuderspitze’ by Mark Helprin
  15. ‘The Hartleys’ by John Cheever
  16. ‘O City Of Broken Dreams’ by John Cheever
  17. ‘A Day In The Open’ by Jane Bowles
  18. ‘The Lottery’ by Shirley Jackson
  19. ‘In The Zoo’ by Jean Stafford
  20. ‘The Lost Phoebe’ by Theodore Dreiser
  21. ‘Welcome To The Monkey House’ by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
  22. ‘How Beautiful With Shoes’ by Wilbur Daniel Steele
  23. ‘The Little Wife’ by William March
  24. ‘A Distant Episode’ by Paul Bowles
  25. ‘The Faithful Wife’ by Morley Callaghan
  26. ‘The Golden Honeymoon’ by Ring Lardner
  27. ‘Resurrection Of A Life’ by William Saroyan
  28. ‘The State Of Grace’ by Harold Brodkey
  29. ‘A Telephone Call’ by Dorothy Parker
  30. ‘The Survivors’ by Elsie Singmaster

‘The Faithful Wife’ by Morley Callaghan

Morley Callaghan,  Private Collection

The Faithful Wife by Morley Callaghan, 1930

The magic trick:

Presenting an extreme and memorable situation

I don’t love the way Callaghan tells this story. The woman verbalizes her problem too directly for my tastes. There isn’t as much room for the reader to interpret or imagine as I would like. Callaghan is very direct; black and white, no gray.

That being said, the story still lingers in the reader’s mind long afterward because the premise is so memorable. Sometimes the trick isn’t in the telling; it’s in having a good story to tell in the first place. Sometimes it’s really that simple. This story gives the reader a heart-wrenching scenario on which to ponder. And that’s quite a trick on Callaghan’s part.

The selection:

“Maybe I’d better go,” he said uncomfortably, feeling ridiculous.

“Eh, what’s that? My husband, he’s at a sanitarium. He got his spine hurt in the war, then he got tuberculosis. He’s pretty bad. They’ve got to carry him around. We want to love each other every time we meet, but we can’t.”