What's happening right now with short form fiction

Browsing Month 'August, 2011'

rolnick

Beautiful essay on The Millions site by writer Josh Rolnick, whose debut collection Pulp and Paper comes out this fall. I began to resent what seemed to me the unprovable premise that there existed any useful structure or scheme of ascendable rungs whose rule was that my stories weren’t good enough at first but might be better […]

beach_photo1

I had been waiting for my first issue of One Story for several weeks, and when it arrived yesterday, it did not disappoint. The one story in it was James Zwerneman’s “Horse and Rider Thrown into the Sea,” a vivid portrait of a single mother’s life on the island of Grenada (pictured) in the late […]

American-writer-Tobias-Wo-007

The Guardian‘s Xan Brooks interviewed the short story titan at the Edinburgh International Book Festival last week. Of Ernest Hemingway, Wolff said, ”He’s such a dominant figure in American literature; you can’t ignore him. He’s papa, the great father, and you find that you either have to revere him or kill him. But the work is […]

Dachau-prisoners-007

In its continuing series “A Brief Survey of the Short Story,” The Guardian discussed last week the work of Polish poet and author Tadeusz Borowski. Borowski was arrested by the Gestapo in 1942, spent two years in Auschwitz as a kapo, “a non-Jewish inmate who works, schemes and exploits to survive amid daily slaughter.”  Borowski […]

el morro

After a week’s hiatus, The New Yorker is back, and so is its weekly short story offering. This week it is “El Morro” by David Means, which recounts a few days in the life of an unnamed homeless woman who is offered a ride in Los Angeles by a small-time drug dealer and meth addict […]

“Second Son” by Lee Child Now Top 10 E-book

USA Today reported this week that the short story “Second Son” by Lee Child reached Number 8 on the paper’s Best Selling Books list. I posted on August 16 of the story’s release, noting that Child was the fifth author to sell one million e-books. While the Jack Reacher stories are outside of the literary […]

iowa spring 2011

What does a professional ballet dancer do when she becomes pregnant? The Spring 2011 issue of The Iowa Review answers that question in a thought-provoking short story by Ashley Wurzbacher called “Burden.”  It is the tale of Laura, a professional ballet dancer (and part-time ballet teacher), who makes a decision about the life growing inside […]

NYC-1938-hurricane-thumb-350×319-98784

The New Yorker‘s Book Bench blog yesterday suggested six short pieces (four of them fiction) to cuddle up with behind the boarded windows. There is also a link to Ben Greenman’s mp3 Hurricane playlist to set the mood. “Ocean 1212” essay by Sylvia Plath, recalling the great New England Hurricane of 1938 (depicted in the […]

Mile 81x-inset-community

Another short story to be published only electronically, this time Stephen King’s “Mile 81.” The Scribner’s press release describes it as the “chilling story of an insatiable car and a heroic kid whose worlds collide at an abandoned rest stop on the Maine Turnpike.” The Associated Press and USA Today reports that the e-book will […]

Isaac-Bashevis-Singer

The Guardian‘s Nicholas Lezard reviews a new collection of stories by the Nobel Prize-winning author. Chosen by Singer himself, the twenty-seven stories in this collection are among those that earned him the Nobel Prize. Lezard calls this collection the “essential” Singer collection, and offers some insight that may be new to American readers. Since Janice […]