Story Collections Community Read-Along March 2013
Únete a LibraryThing para publicar.
Este tema está marcado actualmente como "inactivo"—el último mensaje es de hace más de 90 días. Puedes reactivarlo escribiendo una respuesta.
I think this month's read for me, since I am so woefully behindhand on the date, will be a book older even than I am:
A Curtain of Green: And Other Stories by Eudora Welty
Here's the sales blurb: "In her now-famous introduction to this first collection by a then-unknown young writer from Mississippi named Eudora Welty, Katherine Anne Porter wrote that "there is even in the smallest story a sense of power in reserve which makes me believe firmly that, splendid beginning that it is, it is only the beginning." Porter was of course prophetic, and the beginning was splendid. A Curtain of Green both introduced and established Eudora Welty as in instinctive genius of short fiction, and in this groundbreaking collection, which includes "Powerhouse" and "Keela, the Outcast Indian Maiden," are the first great works of a great American writer."
I've read "Keela, the Outcast Indian Maiden" in an anthology, but otherwise I'm new to these stories. Anyone care to join in?
& I'm reading one that has stories mostly older than me, but a few were published after my birth. The Best of Cordwainer Smith. I'm enjoying it so far, and cracking up a bit over his image of women in the future. The first story has a lovely 1950s-style housewife in space, and the next one has a "feminist" who is rails against marriage and insists that she will bring forth genetically perfect and diverse children by picking a different anonymous father for each of them. The feminist is a side character in the story, but it's the first time I've seen sf actually call a woman "a feminist" and the feminist seemed a bit like Mary Wollstonecraft if she had been a media hog.
Ferrell Swan has fled the shambles of his life in Ohio for the vast and empty landscape of Idaho's high desert. Here he tries to escape his past and its failures--even to escape memory itself. He seeks solace in sunrises and sunsets, wild mustangs and wheeling hawks, and the coyotes that roam his one hundred acres of scrubland. Through visits from his stepson and his ex-wife, through occasional contacts with odd and reclusive neighbors, Swan confronts himself in order to realize his humanity.
I'm reading this for a library book group that meets on March 12th. I've only read the first story so far but I loved it so I have high hopes for the rest of it.
Thanks Richard, will have a look for Eudora Welty when I'm in the library next. I have just found the short story section doh, don't know where my brain has been.
I definitely don't want it to be June 1998 as I was 6 months pregnant with our last child and had just moved house - no thank you, not again (the pregnant bit - I'm sure I will move house again).
Thanks for setting up these threads, Richard! Hmm, June 1998...I'd go back there happily...still in my 30s (barely), son starting kindergarten, my job was great...good times! Where do they go.
>3 phebj: Hi Pat! I hate you! Now I want to read that book, and it's all YOUR fault.
>4 FionaWh: Your June 1998 doesn't sound too spiffy, Fiona, I understand. Mine wasn't quite so bad. It featured a lot of drinking.
I chose A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler to kick off March's SS reading. A Pulitzer winner I never even heard of! Here is the snippet from Wikipedia:
A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain is a 1992 collection of short stories by Robert Olen Butler. It received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1993.
Each story in the collection is narrated by a different Vietnamese immigrant living in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The stories are largely character-driven, with cultural differences between Vietnam and the United States as an important theme. Many of the stories were first published in journals such as The Hudson Review, The Southern Review, and The Virginia Quarterly Review. The collection was re-released in 2001 with two additional stories, "Salem" and "Missing".
So far I am enjoying them a lot. Some are very funny. There is one "Love" - where a Vietnamese man goes to a "low down papa" (voodoo man) to learn a hex to put on his beautiful, but straying, wife. What he goes through to accomplish it, had me laughing out loud. Otherwise, they are a little bit more on the fairy tale, sad, wistful side ... but the every day things about how new immigrants view American culture - that is just great. Had me thinking a time or two about the silly things we do. I was a little suspect that a white dude could write from the Vietnamese perspective (and often female), but he does a great job. I just have to stop thinking about stuff like that and read with an open mind.
>11 CarolynSchroeder: Sounds really good! A first novel that treats the Vietnamese immigrant experience, and which I loved, was Grass Roof Tin Roof by my fellow former-Austinite Dao Strom.
>12 rocketjk: Hi Jerry! Nice piece on you and the store in the Ukiah paper.
I am continuing on in my short stories for March with an odd little number (which I had not before heard of) I found yesterday at the GoodWill book racks (for a dollar!) called The View from Stalin's Head by Aaron Hamburger. So I leave Vietnam (and Lousiana) and travel to Prague. Here is a little snippet/description of this collection from Amazon:
The ten stories in The View from Stalin’s Head unfold in the post–Cold War Prague of the 1990s—a magnet not only for artists and writers but also for American tourists and college grad deadbeats, a city with a glorious yet sometimes shameful history, its citizens both resentful of and nostalgic for their Communist past. Against this backdrop, Aaron Hamburger conjures an arresting array of characters: a self-appointed rabbi who runs a synagogue for non-Jews; an artist, once branded as a criminal by the Communist regime, who hires a teenage boy to boss him around; a fiery would-be socialist trying to rouse the oppressed masses while feeling the tug of her comfortable Stateside upbringing. European and American, Jewish and gentile, straight and gay, the people in these stories are forced to confront themselves when the ethnic, religious, political, and sexual labels they used to rely on prove surprisingly less stable than they’d imagined.
I find that I am drawn back to Close Range by Annie Proulx and Shiloh & Other Stories by Bobbie Ann Mason.
and I'm still working my way through Children's Hours
Question: I've been a subscriber to One Story for a few years - when reading them, should I count each individually since they're published as such? Or should I group 8 or 12 together and then count that as one work? It's got me stymied....
Edited to say-I was reading the back of the book to put a blurb on here and I read that the first story, "The Maiden Flight of McCauley's Bellerophon," won the World Fantasy Award! So there you go! What do I know about anything?! LOL! I still maintain the ending was stupid for such a good story.
Here's the blurb-
"No one is innocent, no one unexamined in Shirley Jackson Award-winning author Elizabeth Hand's new collection, her first since 2006. From the mysterious people upstairs to the odd guy in the next office over, Hand teases apart the dark strangenesses of everyday life to show us the impossibilities, the broken or improbable dreams that surely can never come true."
Link to my review: http://my2013readingjournal.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-black-madonna-by-doris-less...
I am just about to begin reading From Africa: New Francophone Stories edited by Adele King.
".....the short story is the literary genre which manages to bind together poetry and prose."
"...it is autonomous and self-contained."
"...the story is the form par excellence for the poetic apnea: holding your breath as long as possible then letting it go, just at the moment you are about to digress, thus suffocating."
Link to review:
I want to finish the books I have out from the library first before I make another trip to look for the next short story selection. I am really hooked on these now, ideal for my lifestyle at the moment.
I highly recommend it. It was a fairly quick read and I enjoyed it a great deal. Real escapist reading!
1) Bettering Myself by Ottessa Moshfegh - 4.5 stars; 2) An Actor Prepares by David Gates - 4.5 stars; 3) Do You Realize? by Tess Wheelwright - 4 stars; 4) Sandstorm by Adam O'Fallon (just awesome, and intense, any of you folks who write too will love this one) - 5 stars; and 5) Musicians Afloat in the Night Sky by Adelaide Docx - 3.5 stars. There is a sixth one, Sizzle Real by Mark Leyner, but it is was in an "expiramental" style, sorta like a script/interview or something, and the subject matter was nausea producing to me, so not big on that one. Just not my cuppa, so that one gets 1.5 stars. Few of the Touchstones work as some of these authors are not published anywhere else yet, I think (or however that works).
I think most libraries carry the Paris Review, so this issue is worth seeking out to borrow and read some great new writing!
The Thing Around Your Neck - which was on my wish list - bonus!
Flights of Love
In case you don't know what a Little Free Library is: http://www.littlefreelibrary.org
There are four of them within a two block radius of my house.
My husband I are thinking of putting one up this spring, if spring ever arrives.
Started Best American Mystery Stories 2011 - fantastic!
Starting off April (or soon to be) with a bang as well, with a super strong start in the collection Black American Short Stories: A Century of the Best edited by John Henrick Clarke - came to me highly recommended from a friend. Even the introduction was an eye-opening education on Black Literature ... and quickly dispelled the notion that the African people were all of the "oral tradition" (as is always assumed from the slave peoples brought from the West coast) - not so - many countries and cultures were avid writers and written storytellers (especially from the Sudan and other African/Arab regions) - and came to the U.S. from different routes, e.g. Zanzibar (an Eastern slave port as big as the West Coast), to the Caribbean and/or U.S.
I loved your review too, Richard. I definitely will check out the Welty book.
I am on my way to another 5-star collection in Black American Short Stories: A Century of the Best edited by John Henrik Clarke ... not a dud in the bunch so far. I cannot put it down either. That my library system did not even have this makes me sad and frustrated. I will see if they will take my copy donated. I believe it is a text for some college courses, so it seems ridiculous not to have it handy.
Did you and your husband ever put up your own Little Free Library? My husband is building me one right now...and I'm so excited!!