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”

A short story I recently read

Back When We Talked to The Dead, by Mariana Enriquez (trans. Megan Mcdowell) Read it here in about 30 minutes. Thinking about portraying themes… I recently discovered Enriquez, and have been reading Things We Lost in the Fire, her debut short story collection. ‘Back When’ comes come her second collection, The Dangers of Smoking inContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

A short story I recently read

‘Help Me Follow My Sister to the Land of the Dead’, by Carmen Maria Machado Read it here in about 25 minutes. Thinking about form and structure…  I’ve fallen madly in love with Carmen Maria Machado’s writing ever since reading ‘The Husband Stitch’, which led me to read her debut short story collection, which ledContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

A short story I recently re-read

‘The Island at Noon’ by Julio Cortázar (translated by Suzanne Jill Levine) Read it here in about 25 minutes. Thinking about using time in narrative…  The protagonist in this story, Marini, is a flight steward who has become obsessed with a Greek island called Xiros, which he flies over on one of his regular routes.Continue reading “A short story I recently re-read”

A short story I recently re-read

 ‘Zombie’, by Chuck Palahniuk  Read it here, in about half an hour. (Note: the story contains sexual elements, and mentions of suicide.) Thinking about themes and ideas… If you don’t know Palahniuk’s work, he writes fucked up, alienated characters in a dirty reality, with a big splash of irony. ‘Fight Club’ is a classic example; PalahniukContinue reading “A short story I recently re-read”

A short story I recently read

The Case of Death and Honey, by Neil Gaiman Read it here in less than an hour. Thinking about narrative point of view… This story is a lot of fun. It’s divided into two narrative strands, each using a different narrative perspective. The voices created in the two strands sound completely different to each other,Continue reading “A short story I recently read”

A short story I recently read

Ghost Days, by Ken Liu Read it here in about 75 minutes. Thinking about ideas and structure… I wouldn’t normally read sci-fi, but I’ve been broadening my horizons recently. In this short story, Liu combines aliens and computer programming with ideas about identity – these are common themes, from what I’ve read of his work,Continue reading “A short story I recently read”

A short story I recently read

Clementine, Carmelita, Dog by David Means Read it here in about 20 minutes (if you aren’t subscribed to Granta, you can still read about half of the story). Thinking about narrative perspective… I absolutely love this short story, partly because it’s told from the third-person limited point of view of a sausage dog, and partlyContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

A short story I recently read

Where Are You Going, Where Have you Been?, by Joyce Carol Oates Read it here in about an hour. Analysis: Thinking about meanings and endings… I’ve been reading quite a bit of Oates recently, in honour of Halloween month. This short story is typical of her writing: there’s something sinister, something dangerous, and plenty ofContinue reading “A short story I recently read”

A short story I recently read

The Upstairs People, by Laura van den Berg Available here. Read it in about 20 minutes. Analysis: Thinking about time and structure…  This story begins in the present – one year after the unnamed narrator’s father died. Then, only three sentences in, we jump back, and the narrator details a strange dream about her fatherContinue reading “A short story I recently read”