Apr 06

At Books on the Nightstand, we’re dubbing 2013 “The Year of the Short Story.” In celebration, Ann is reading one story a day, for the entire year. We’ll also be highlighting new story collections, lit magazines, and online resources for short fiction. But one of the things I’m most looking forward to is discussing stories with you, here on the blog. Each month, I will choose one story to feature, and I hope that through the comments on the blog, we can explore these stories together. In addition, there is sure to be conversation about the story at the Books on the Nightstand Goodreads group, so come join us over there, too.




Let’s get away from the darkness for a bit, shall we? I received an email this week that called my previous selections “grim,” and I can’t really argue.

Mary Fran in our Goodreads group pointed out this story back in January. I read it right away, and it has stuck with me. I shared it with some friends, and they were as delighted with this story as I was.

Simon Rich is a humorist and former writer for Saturday Night Live. This story comes from his latest collection, The Last Girlfriend on Earth and other stories.

You can read it free on The New Yorker website.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this story. Did it work for you? What did you think about the author’s choice of narrator? If you’re not usually a fan of short stories, do you feel differently about this one? And, on the flip side, if you love short stories (especially literary short fiction), did you like this?

Please leave comments on the blog (or, if you are receiving this by email, please click through to visit the blog and leave a comment).

  • Keith

    I thought this story was hilarious and I really, really liked it. At first, I wondered if it was fiction since most New Yorker humor pieces are nonfiction but it was quickly apparent that the work was imagined, unless the narrator, at one time, resided in the pocket of Simon Rich (aka Jordi Hirschfeld) in which case it might not be as imagined as it seems. From a literary standpoint, the voice is what makes the piece work and I don’t know if that “voice” could work in an anthology because it might become tiresome which often happens with stories that are clever.

  • Robin

    Really enjoyed this story, thanks for choosing it. Took a second to get the narration, but that is what really drew me in. Fun. Makes me realize there does not appear to be that many ‘fun’ short stories. I run across magical and thoughtful, but not fun.

  • I loved this story! It was clever and fun–something you don’t see a whole lot of in short stories. And it was definitely original. I mean, have you ever read a first person account of a condom before? I know I haven’t!

    I have THE LAST GIRL ON EARTH on my Kindle and can’t wait to read it. Another great choice, Ann.

  • HennyPenny

    I loved it. Short, interesting, and funny. Wasn’t what I expected, and that always is good.

  • Susan

    Still laughing…so good. Thank you Ann.

  • carolyn dockery

    Marvelously funny

preload preload preload