A short story I recently read

‘How to Talk to Your Mother’ by Lorrie Moore Read it here in about 20 minutes. Thinking about motifs… I’m a sucker for nostalgia. Having a short story/novel look back into the past, especially after a character has died, gets me every time. The opening line of this story tells us someone has died: ‘WithoutContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

A short story I recently read

‘Fable’ by Ethan Rutherford Read it here in about an hour. Thinking about using stories within stories… A husband and wife have dinner with an old friend, meeting his new wife for the first time. The three friends reminisce; the narrator tells the reader they share stories about their shared pasts, but the reader isn’tContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

A short story I recently read

‘And Later, His Ghost’, by Sarah Hall Read it here in about 30 minutes. Thinking about imagery as plot… I recently read Hall’s short story collection Madame Zero, in which this story features. It’s an unusual collection; the first and last stories seem to be about the same characters and event, but one takes aContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

A short story I recently read

The Man I Killed, by Tim O’Brien Read it here in 10 minutes. Thinking about structure and effects… O’Brien’s use of structure is amazing throughout the collection The Things they Carried; many of the stories spiral around events, revisiting them, reconsidering them, which I think reflects how memory works, especially in relation to trauma. TheContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

A short story I recently read

‘The Man on the Stairs’ by Miranda July Read it here in about 10 minutes. Thinking about time and characterisation… I love this story. In the opening, the narrator wakes to hear someone on the stairs outside her bedroom. We have this repetition and extension of things she can hear and feel, which demonstrates herContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

A short story I recently read

‘The Sea Shell’ by Osama Alomar Read it here in about 1 minute (there are two flash stories on the page – scroll down for ‘The Sea Shell’). Thinking about use of narrative point of view… This magical little flash story features an unnamed man walking down a beach in an unnamed land, and finding aContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

Book review

You Let Me In, by Camilla Bruce You can read the opening here (‘look inside’). This is a deeply disturbing novel. The protagonist, novelist Cassandra Tipp, has vanished, leaving behind what is essentially a memoir, a document containing two competing narratives about her life. In one story, Cassie tells of a vampiric 1,000-year old faerieContinue reading “Book review”

Book review

Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell You can read an extract, here. I’ve just finished reading Cloud Atlas, and wanted to write a review about how amazing it is, but it’s difficult to do that while avoiding spoilers, and I really don’t want to ruin the reading experience of anyone who hasn’t read it yet, soContinue reading “Book review”

A short story I recently read

‘Gubeikou Spirit’ by Te-Ping Chen Read it here in about 45 minutes. Thinking about use of surrealism… The opening of this story depicts experiences that visitors to China may be familiar with: the stereotypical crowds, dashing about, pushing and shoving (‘she was beaten back against the wall’); the ‘state-of-the-art’ underground train system; the ubiquitous securityContinue reading “A short story I recently read”