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 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 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 novella I recently read

Anthem, by Ayn Rand. Read it here. Thinking about use of grammatical person… Rand was born in Russia, but later emigrated to America. She wrote Anthem in 1937, as a warning about the dangers of communism (or any type of collectivism). The novella has aged well, in my opinion, because the world in which itsContinue reading “A novella 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 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”

Three stories for Halloween

If you’re looking for some spooky reads for Halloween, here are three short horror stories featuring cats. Best read on Halloween night, basking in the candle light emanating from inside a pumpkin, with some seasonal chocolates at your side, and all the doors and windows secure. You’ll never look at a cat the same wayContinue reading “Three stories for Halloween”

Two stories, one theme

This week, I read ‘My Sister, the Serial Killer’ by Oyinkan Braithwaite, and ‘The Girl with the Louding Voice’ by Abi Daré. Both are first novels by female Nigerian authors, and both highlight an issue that plagues modern Nigeria: the commodification of young women. Both authors tackle this issue in different ways, in different genresContinue reading “Two stories, one theme”

Book review

A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess This cult classic novella is narrated by protagonist Alex, 15-years-old at the beginning of the story, and a violent psychopath. The story opens with Alex and his friends committing acts of ‘ultra-violence’ (a term Burgess coined) – stealing, assaulting, raping random strangers – and it isn’t until after thisContinue reading “Book review”

Three of my favourite short stories

I came across a blog post recently that suggested a ‘gratitude’ approach to reading. So, here are 3 books I’m grateful for: ‘Death on the Nile’, by Agatha Christie I am grateful for this book because, first of all, I have always loved going on epic journeys, so I love reading about them too – myContinue reading “Three of my favourite short stories”