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”

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”

A short story I recently re-read

‘Black-Eyed Women’, by Viet Thanh Nguyen Read it here, in about 40 minutes. Thinking about metafiction… Metafiction is fiction that is self-referential. Fiction that draws attention to its own fictionality, either overtly (e.g. the narrator directly addresses the reader) or covertly (e.g. the story is about writing stories). Black-Eyed Women’ is all about the natureContinue reading “A short story I recently re-read”

A short story I recently read

‘Sleeping Beauty’ by Laura Demers Read it here in 18 minutes. Thinking about intertextuality… Intertextuality simply means there’s a link between one text and another. ‘Text’ here doesn’t just refer to literature; it could refer to any text, such as art or music or architecture. Some theorists argue all stories are intertextual, because every storyContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

A short story I recently re-read

‘We Wave and Call’ by Jon McGregor Available here. Read it in 30 minutes. Thinking about how structure and themes interact… The story begins after the young man’s death, in the present tense (simple and continuous). For me, the opening creates a sense of detachment – it’s a combination of the use of present tense;Continue reading “A short story I recently re-read”

A short story I recently re-read

‘The Paper Menagerie’, by Ken Liu Read it here in 15 minutes. Thinking about using foreign language and genre to illustrate a theme… I love how Liu uses words from a foreign language, and the magical realism genre, to show the character’s confusion about his identity. Chinese is character-based, but Liu Romanises the words soContinue reading “A short story I recently re-read”