Category Archives: Short Stories/Essays

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours

I’m on record as liking my short stories weird. Authors can get away with things in short stories that would be unbearable if they tried to sustain it for hundreds of pages. So I was excited that Helen Oyeyemi’s new … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Short Stories/Essays, Speculative Fiction | 6 Comments

Drinking Coffee Elsewhere

Have you ever picked up a book and known from the first paragraph that you were in good hands? That’s how I felt from the very first lines of “Brownies,” the opening story in this short story collection by ZZ … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Short Stories/Essays | 16 Comments

Carmen and Other Stories

I’ve been waffling for a couple of days about what I want to say about this collection of short stories by 19th-century author Prosper Mérimée (and translated from the French by Nicholas Jotcham). When I think back on the stories, … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Short Stories/Essays | 2 Comments

The Force of Spirit

A few years ago, I read Staying Put, a collection of personal essays by Scott Russell Sanders. That collection had a sense of coherence around the same theme: what does it mean, to a geological place, and also to the … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction, Short Stories/Essays | 4 Comments

Elementals: Stories of Ice and Fire

This book of short stories by A.S. Byatt has been on my TBR list for almost six years. Byatt is a favorite author of mine, and I’ve read most of her novels and short stories now. But each time I … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Short Stories/Essays | 3 Comments

Masculinity in Breaking Bad

If you happened to see me in September 2013, you might have had a hard time escaping a conversation about Breaking Bad. I came to the show late, starting it not long before the final half of the final season aired and … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction, Short Stories/Essays | 4 Comments

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

I was pleased as punch when Teresa reviewed this collection of Stephen King’s short stories last month. I like King’s short stories and novellas a lot, as a rule. They’re often scarier than his novels, because they’re focused on situations, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Short Stories/Essays | 4 Comments

The Moons of Jupiter

I’m not sure it’s possible to read too many stories by Alice Munro. I’ve developed a taste for modern short stories that edge toward the weird, like the ones George Saunders writes: stories that play with form, that are futuristic, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Short Stories/Essays | 2 Comments

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

Even though I’m a Stephen King fan, I don’t make a point of reading all of his books. And I’ve hardly read any of his short stories. But The Guardian review of his new collection piqued my interest, and short stories seemed like … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Short Stories/Essays, Speculative Fiction | 4 Comments

My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer

This book by poet Christian Wiman is not easy to describe. It’s not exactly a memoir, although it contains elements of memoir, and it’s not exactly an essay collection, although each chapter dances around a particular theme or idea. His … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction, Religion, Short Stories/Essays | 8 Comments