Category Archives: Short Stories/Essays

Oblivion

A couple of months ago, I reviewed David Foster Wallace’s book of essays, Consider the Lobster. I read that book with increasing pleasure (and perhaps a tinge of surprise), and in the end was really blown pretty much flat by … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction, Short Stories/Essays | 3 Comments

The Lottery and Other Stories

There are too many people in these stories by Shirley Jackson—people who watch, people who judge, people who insinuate themselves into your life, people who leave, people who throw stones. Almost every story unearths some little bit of darkness in … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Short Stories/Essays | 15 Comments

Consider the Lobster

David Foster Wallace has been on my list for a long time, but to be perfectly honest, I’ve been a bit skeptical about reading him. He’s one of those Gen-X white-dude heroes, and in my experience they have a tendency … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction, Short Stories/Essays | 12 Comments

The Unspeakable

In the introduction to this essay collection, Meghan Daum writes that our societal discourse is “largely rooted in platitudes” and that her goal in the book was to get beyond the platitudes to discuss “the unspeakable thought many of us … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction, Short Stories/Essays | 12 Comments

Get in Trouble

I think it’s pretty well established that I like my short stories weird. But these stories by Kelly Link pushed the weird envelope for me. They’re not necessarily bad stories, but I felt like I wasn’t getting some of them. … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Short Stories/Essays, Speculative Fiction | 10 Comments

In Persuasion Nation

I wrote about George Saunders’s stories in Tenth of December about a year and a half ago. It surprises me to find that it was so long ago, because those stories have remained vivid in my mind as some of … Continue reading

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

The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: Stories

It annoys me when I don’t like something but don’t know why. In the case of this short story collection by Hillary Mantel, I can’t come up with much of anything to complain about, but I also don’t have much … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction, Short Stories/Essays | 11 Comments

Good Evening, Mrs. Craven: The Wartime Stories of Mollie Panter-Downes

Mollie Panter-Downes is probably best known for her long-running “Letter from London” column in The New Yorker. But her writing also included novels, poetry, and short stories, with most of her short works also being published in The New Yorker. … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Short Stories/Essays | 5 Comments

Tenth of December

One of the things I’ve come to appreciate about short stories is the way they give authors room to play with an idea without having to fully flesh it out or offer a full-fledged plot. Sometimes just a glimpse of … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction, Short Stories/Essays, Speculative Fiction | 8 Comments

January Essays: The Deal Me in Challenge

As I mentioned earlier this month, I decided to make my way through The Art of the Personal Essay, edited by Phillip Lopate, by participating in the Deal Me in Challenge. I’ve assigned each essayist in the book a playing … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction, Short Stories/Essays | 3 Comments