- "in the cemetery where al jolson died" - amy hempel - this has the distinction of being the only short story to ever make me cry. which is weird, cause i cry all the time at other things: cheesy movies, tim horton's commercials, pictures of puppies in the newspaper. but these are all things that are meant to push your CRY button; i find that usually, anything that has truly resonant emotional depth doesn't have to resort to button-pushing and that the feeling you get from it is more lasting than a momentary eye-well. but hempel's story is both. BOTH.
- "liliana" - maile meloy - read this then read her short story collection both ways is the only way i want it and then tell me that you can't have real character development in a short story. yeah, you. you know who you are.
- "the rememberer" - aimee bender - "On his last human day, he put his head in his hands and sighed and I stood up and kissed the entire back of his neck, covered that flesh, made wishes there because I knew no woman had ever been so thorough, had ever kissed his every inch of skin. I coated him. What did I wish for? I wished for good. That's all. Just good. My wishes became generalized long ago, in childhood; I learned quick the consequence of wishing specific."
- "appeal of the sentence" - spencer gordon - joyland.ca is an awesome site if you love short stories. this story was my introduction to the site and is still by far my favourite. even though before i read it i thought it was going to be some sort of treatise on grammar. but no, you guys, it's even better than that!
- "la vita nuova" - allegra goodman - i can't remember who it was who recommended this story to me, but if i could, i would totally kiss them. so let's all hope it was someone sexy.
- "the words" - rebecca rosenblum - you can find a bunch of rebecca's stories online (and even more of her on her blog, rose-coloured, which i highly recommend) but i think this one is my favourite. and i'm not just saying that because she once rescued me from a bathroom at a bookstore in montreal.
- "ifaust" - matthew trafford - matthew trafford's genius is well-traveled territory here at listophelia. but did you know that lee henderson thinks that matthew is "a new folktale-juggler king"? or that jessica grant thinks that his forthcoming book, the divinity gene (douglas & mcintyre, 2011) is "a wicked and wonderful debut"? or that neil smith "love[s] matthew trafford's imagination"? well, now you do.
- "a telephone call" - dorothy parker - classicshorts.com has all kinds of, yeah that's right, you guessed it, CLASSIC SHORT STORIES and you should probably read them all. but i love this one the most and i LOVE dorothy parker and it's my list.
- "the shared patio" - miranda july - you know how i said that i never read stories in books over and over again? i lied - there is one book i read over and over again and it's miranda july's no one belongs here more than you. and this is my favourite story in that book, and you can read it online! also, if you want to know my favourite line from my favourite story in my favourite book by my favourite author, here it is: "One reason Helena and I would never be close friends is that I am about half as tall as she. People tend to stick to their own size group because it's easier on the neck. Unless they are romantically involved, in which case the size difference is sexy. It means: I am willing to go the distance for you."
- "good kids" - alexander macleod - i know what you're thinking: "amy, don't be silly! this is just a paragraph of a story, not a whole story online!" but to that i say, a paragraph is enough to show you that you NEED to go out right now and BUY THIS ISSUE OF TNQ. or better yet, BUY THE BOOK. because some things need to be held in your hand in order for you to appreciate their weight.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
i really like books. i do. i also really like literary magazines, and i buy them as often as i can. but sometimes i'm broke and i'm at home and far away from a bookstore (because i live in thunder bay and there is one bookstore and it's chapters and i'm already there way too much and also i live in the country and there are bears between me and the highway) and all i want to do is read a short story online. and sometimes i like that short story so much i read it over and over and over again, which is kind of funny cause i don't really ever do that with books (okay, it's not that funny). and sometimes i like that short story so very, very much that i want to share it with all my blog readers, because a) i can totally be literary when i want to be and b) i think everyone should read short stories and c) i like you guys very, very much as well.