September 2022 favorites

September 2022

The September stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Willing’ by Lorrie Moore
  2. ‘The Man Who Knew Belle Starr’ by Richard Bausch
  3. ‘A Father-To-Be’ by Saul Bellow
  4. ‘A Vermont Tale’ by Mark Helprin
  5. ‘The Five Wounds’ by Kirstin Valdez Quade
  6. ‘Nemecia’ by Kirstin Valdez Quade
  7. ‘Where The Mountains Are’ by Bill Barich
  8. ‘Seeing Clear’ by Cara Blue Adams
  9. ‘Sugar Babies’ by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
  10. ‘The Beautiful Mountains’ by John Cheever
  11. ‘Afternoon In Linen’ by Shirley Jackson
  12. ‘Sauerkraut Soup’ by Stuart Dybek
  13. ‘Our Lady Of Peace’ by ZZ Packer
  14. ‘Sunday Lunch’ by Nancy Hale
  15. ‘Benediction’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  16. ‘With Reference To An Incident At A Bridge’ by William Maxwell
  17. ‘Along The Frontage Road’ by Michael Chabon

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

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June 2022 favorites

June 2022

The June stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Ghosts, Cowboys’ by Claire Vaye Watkins
  2. ‘The Last Thing We Need’ by Claire Vaye Watkins
  3. ‘The Night Rhonda Ferguson Was Killed’ by Edward P. Jones
  4. ‘The Ant Of The Self’ by ZZ Packer
  5. ‘Georgetown Nights’ by Nancy Hale
  6. ‘In My Next Life’ by Pam Houston
  7. ‘The Face’ by Virginia Sorensen
  8. ‘The Weave’ by Charles Johnson
  9. ‘Road’s End’ by Alexis Smith
  10. ‘Happy Hour’ by Denis Johnson
  11. ‘An Orange Line Train To Ballston’ by Edward P. Jones
  12. ‘The Nevada School Of Acting’ by Judy Troy
  13. ‘Where Nothing Is Long Ago’ by Virginia Sorensen
  14. ‘Monroe’s Wedding’ by John Holman
  15. ‘Island Rodeo Queen’ by Yamile Saied Méndez
  16. ‘White Girl, Fine Girl’ by Shirley Ann Grau
  17. ‘Magnificent Desolation’ by Jess Walter
  18. ‘How To Cure A Cold’ by Mark Twain

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

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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

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

‘Who Lived And Died Believing’ by Nancy Hale

Hale, Nancy 1943

Who Lived And Died Believing by Nancy Hale, 1943

The magic trick:

The startling inner monologue of Mrs. Myles

Hale puts the reader in the mind of shock-therapy patient Mrs. Myles. Believe me when I tell you that is a terrifying place to be. Hale is unrelenting in her portrayal. The woman is lost in depths of psychological hell, and it is truly remarkable the intimacy and detail in the language of her interior monologue. And that’s quite a trick on Hale’s part.

The selection:

“How do you feel?” the nurse said in the evening room.

“How do you feel?” the nurse said.

“How do you feel?” the nurse said.

“HOW DO YOU FEEL?” the nurse said.

The nurse said, “Mrs. Myles, is there anything the matter?”

“It’s as if,” she said, “all the human things had been taken out of me and it left holes, like a cheese with great empty holes. And the holes have to be filled with something and they are all filled up with fear. So that where I had all sorts of things now I haven’t got anything but fear in all the holes.”

But that wasn’t it at all; there was the bottle, how to tell someone of the bottle, glass, and sound-proof, where the stopper was being pushed tight home with her inside; not like a moth, no, not so clean, not like the souls in bottles, animula, vagula, blandula. No, like a festering purple lump of tissue.

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

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