July 2015 favorites


July 2015

The July stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Wash’ by William Faulkner
  2. ‘A Rose For Emily’ by William Faulkner
  3. ‘The Beauties’ by Anton Chekhov
  4. ‘The Kiss’ by Anton Chekhov
  5. ‘The Bishop’ by Anton Chekhov
  6. ‘Revelation’ by Flannery O’Connor
  7. ‘The Darling’ by Anton Chekhov
  8. ‘What You Pawn I Will Redeem’ by Sherman Alexie
  9. ‘Shingles For The Lord’ by William Faulkner
  10. ‘The Only Traffic Signal On The Reservation Doesn’t Flash Red Anymore’ by Sherman Alexie
  11. ‘Health Card’ by Frank Yerby
  12. ‘The Huntsman’ by Anton Chekhov
  13. ‘The Artificial N—–‘ by Flannery O’Connor
  14. ‘Referential’ by Lorrie Moore
  15. ‘The Angel In The Alcove’ by Tennessee Williams
  16. ‘Because My Father Always Said He Was The Only Indian Who Saw Jim Hendrix Play The Star-Spangled Banner At Woodstock’ by Sherman Alexie
  17. ‘Shall Not Perish’ by William Faulkner
  18. ‘Death Drag’ by William Faulkner
  19. ‘Weekend’ by Ann Beattie
  20. ‘This Is What It Means To Say Phoenix, Arizona’ by Sherman Alexie
  21. ‘Amusements’ by Sherman Alexie
  22. ‘Northerners Can Be So Smug’ by Alice Childress
  23. ‘The Case Of Four And Twenty Blackbirds’ by Neil Gaiman


June 2015 favorites


June 2015

The June stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘The Dead’ by James Joyce
  2. ‘Big Boy Leaves Home’ by Richard Wright
  3. ‘Dry September’ by William Faulkner
  4. ‘Araby’ by James Joyce
  5. ‘Eveline’ by James Joyce
  6. ‘The Boarding House’ by James Joyce
  7. ‘Counterparts’ by James Joyce
  8. ‘An Encounter’ by James Joyce
  9. ‘A Little Cloud’ by James Joyce
  10. ‘Two Pilgrims’ by Peter Taylor
  11. ‘A Painful Case’ by James Joyce
  12. ‘The Sisters’ by James Joyce
  13. ‘Ivy Day In The Committee Room’ by James Joyce
  14. ‘Going Ashore’ by Mavis Gallant
  15. ‘Two Gallants’ by James Joyce
  16. ‘Madame Zilensky And The King Of Finland’ by Carson McCullers
  17. ‘Grace’ by James Joyce
  18. ‘Clay’ by James Joyce
  19. ‘A Mother’ by James Joyce
  20. ‘And The Rock Cried Out’ by Ray Bradbury
  21. ‘After The Race’ by James Joyce
  22. ‘The Man From Mars’ by Margaret Atwood




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

‘Hand Upon The Waters’ by William Faulkner

Faulkner, William 1939b

Hand Upon The Waters by William Faulkner, 1939

The magic trick:

Turning what couldve been a simple who-dun-it into a deep, affecting story

For the second day in a row we have Faulkner elevating a genre riff into something approaching high art. Yesterday, it was the deceptively complex comedy of “A Bear Hunt.” Today, he does his best Agatha Christie in “Hand Upon The Waters,” a murder mystery that also manages to encompass a memorable slice of southern life.

He does so with three angles: One, he makes the Lonnie Grinnup character the picture of innocence, immediately eliciting feeling from the reader. Two, the investigator, Stevens, too is a sympathetic character; heroic even. And three, the conflict between the Brothers Ballenbaugh is intense and interesting.

With such strong characters across the board, the mystery can’t help take on deeper shades and meanings. And that’s quite a trick on Faulkner’s part.

The selection:

At first Stevens did not know what Ballenbaugh was about. He watched in mounting surprise as Ballenbaught turned to face his brother, his hand extended, speaking in a voice which was actually harsh now: “This is the end of the row. I was afraid from that night when you came home and told me. I should have raised you better, but I didn’t. Here. Stand up and finish it.”

“Look out, Tyler!” Stevens said. “Don’t do that!”

“Keep out of this, Gavin. If it’s meat for meat you want, you will get it.”