Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Short Story Month

Short stories, always the tag-along kid in the lit pantheon, are experiencing  a reputation make-over.  A popularity uptick.

Today I got my new book from Chapters, Colette Maitland's Keeping the Peace.  I read the first story at once. Maitland has such a smooth style you could skate on it.  A good choice. Or you can get Everything is So Political edited by Sandra McIntrye at the Northern Woman's Bookstore (and Chapters, Amazon etc. ) Try the story by Fran Kimmel.  A scorcher.

Colette Maitland, author of Keeping the Peace.

What's the tops in short stories? Of course the Divine Alice (Munro) leads the pack with anything she has ever written. William Trevor, the Irish writer comes second in my view. As for the classics, James Joyce and Anton Chekhov are supreme. Add in Katherine Mansfield. I enjoy Ernest Hemmingway's short stories much more that his novels. His sparse style gets sign-songy over the long haul but fits the short format beautifully.

Everyone can name a great: Carver, Atwood, Moore, Danticat, Denis Johnson, George Saunders.... 

You can listen to short stories in audio at Just click on audio at the top. Ignore the free stories from Audible unless you want the hassle of logging into that site.

You can pick up the New Yorker audio site in short stories at  Slip down to Mavis Gallant or Jamaica Kincaide. 

Or you can click over to the British newspaper, the Guardian, and browse the book section for their short story pod casts.

A funny thing about short stories. They never seem to date. They never seem to get fusty or old fashioned. A story by Gogol or Faulkner or Woolf  still shines on the page.  Why is that?  Perhaps the form forbids a lot of moralizing, or even much overt character analysis. You hit the ground running and stay until you cross the tape.

One of the great short story writers - William Trevor

No comments:

Post a Comment