Jun 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. Below are links to all of our posts tagged “Project Short Story”

First, I’d like to publicly thank three brave souls, Xtian Paula, Callie LaFleur, and Toni Clark, who were brave enough to post or link to their list stories inspired by the May read-along. Well done, and thank you for playing along! I enjoyed all of the stories very much.

So now on to June.

Last Night: Stories by James SalterJames Salter has just published his first novel in more than 30 years, All That Is, to glorious reviews and major profiles.

So I think it’s time that we read a classic Salter story: “Last Night.” It’s one of my favorite short stories.

The story appears in Salter’s collection, Last Night: Stories.

If you’d like to read it online, the story is available at The New Yorker website: http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2002/11/18/021118fi_fiction?currentPage=all, and you can also listen to the story on The New Yorker Fiction podcast, read by Thomas McGuane: http://www.newyorker.com/online/2009/01/12/090112on_audio_mcguane
And then, let’s talk about it. Leave your thoughts below. I’m off to Booktopia in Bellingham, Washington, where we’ll be discussing this story in person, but I’ll be checking in frequently to see what you have to say.
And if you’re like me, you’ll read it twice.
  • Toni Clark

    “Last Night” totally knocked me out — at least three times. I love this sentence: “Now he had slipped her, as in a burial at sea, beneath the flow of time.”

  • We had a fantastic discussion about this story, live and in-person at Booktopia Washington. Print out two copies share one with a friend, and make a coffee date to discuss — even the non-short-story fans liked this one.

  • Toni Clark

    Okay, but here’s a question. At the end, when Marit reappears, did she realize there’d been an infidelity? She doesn’t notice Susanna at first, then she does, but doesn’t seem upset. Susanna goes to get her clothes. What did she have on? I felt as though a couple of details were glossed over. But it didn’t bother me much.

    The end was sad, though, wasn’t it? Poor Marit.

    • I think we mostly agreed that Marit knew, but perhaps didn’t care because she’d moved on to the next world or whatever. Some suggested (I think jokingly) that Marit filled the syringe with water as a sort of “test.”

      Books on the Nightstand : illuminating conversation about books and reading
      Hosts of Booktopia : connecting authors and readers through in-person weekends of bookish conversation.

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