This week: Listeners weigh in on their love (or not) of short stories.
Back in November, we asked for your thoughts on short stories. Now that we’re into the third month of Project Short Story, we thought it was a good time to hear what you all had to say.
Emily from Ohio, wasn’t a short story fan until a member of her book club wore her down. Emily recommends So Long by Lucia Berlin, any collection by Nadine Gordimer, Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, and the story Brokeback Mountain by E. Annie Proulx.
Like Ann, Jana from Seattle is also obsessed with short stories. The first short story she read and loved was by Ray Bradbury (but which one Jana?!), and just recently bought Kiss Kiss by Roald Dahl. She also recommends the Selected Shorts program, available via podcast. It’s a show that I know Ann has listened to, and I just loaded some episodes onto my iPod.
Louise from Denmark loves short stories and recommends Diving Belles by Lucy Wood and Doctor Olaf Van Schuler’s Brain by Kerstin Menger-Andreson. She’s looking forward to While the Women are Sleeping by Javier Marias and some collections by Barry Hannah and Eudora Welty, which she bought during Booktopia Oxford.
Mary from Indiana felt like short stories end too quickly, but after a rave recommendation from the folks at Literary Disco, she picked up the Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction and is now a fan!
Megan from Boston is not personally a fan of short stories, but as a librarian and a teacher, she found them incredibly helpful for teaching and analyzing fiction with high school students. One in particular was “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. which you can read for free here.
Reed called in to comment on the ability of short stories to resonate for a long period of time, especially considering their relative brevity. He points to “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry and “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson as perfect examples. (Click on those two titles to read the full text of the stories.)
Robin from New Jersey called in to suggest that we all come up with our own lists fitting certain categories modeled after the “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue” rhyme. Check out the thread I’ve started on Goodreads to create your own rhyme and fill it with short stories!
Finally, Tina called in, but didn’t want her voicemail played on the air. Like me, she reads slowly and sees short stories as way to feel like she’s getting a lot read. She recommends The Plot Thickens, an anthology of mystery stories, and also loves stories written by one of the masters of the form, Mark Twain.