There was no theme to my reading this week, and I chose my stories more or less on a whim. Aside from my classmate’s story that I had to critique, this is what I read:
The week began with “Born of Man and Woman,” an incredibly disturbing story by Richard Matheson. This book was recommended by our friend Eric Kibler. Coincidentally, I read this the day after the three missing Cleveland women were found. There are just enough similarities in setting that an indelible line formed in my mind between the story and the news. I wasn’t able to find the story online at a site that was reliably authorized to reprint, so you’ll need to find this on your own.
“Meat, My Husband” by Lydia Davis from Almost No Memory – An odd little story about a marriage. The story begins with the narrator telling us how she learned that her husband’s favorite food was corned beef.
“Jack of Coins” by Christopher Rowe at Tor.com – This was recommended to me by Gwenda Bond, author of Blackwood. (She fully disclosed that Christopher Rowe is her husband). Set in a dystopian world, a stranger appears dressed in a band-leader costume. Who is he? Where are we? This story is full of wonderful imagery, and it made me want to learn more.
“A Good Man is Hard to Find,” Flannery O’Connor. I read this one again for a class assignment, this time focusing on how O’Connor uses dialogue in such a masterful way.
“Regeneration at Mukti,” Julia Elliott. In The Pushcart Prize XXXVII (2013 edition), edited by Bill Henderson – There is so much here to admire. We meet our main character at a spa where they administer very unusual skin treatments to those who want to regain their youthful appearance. I came away believing that this place could actually exist. Maybe it does.
“Punchline,” by Erin McGraw, also from The Pushcart Prize XXXVII (2013 edition)– A priest has an existential crisis as a result of loss. Not my favorite story, but well crafted.
I know this is short and somewhat disjointed, but please know that I am still keeping up on my daily story. Some days it’s all I can do to take in the final words before my eyes close, but short stories have become my nightcap. I can’t imagine most nights without one.