My top 10 of 2021

Here are just some of my favourites from my 2021 reading: ‘The Blind Woman Without a Toe’, by Intan Paramaditha, from the collection Apple and Knife Paramaditha’s short story collection reimagines fairy and folk tales, with a dark twist. This particular story is a fun retelling of Cinderella, while the others are tales from the author’sContinue reading “My top 10 of 2021”

A short story for Halloween

‘Afternoon at the Bakery’ by Yoko Ogawa Read it here (click on ‘Read Excerpt’, underneath the picture of the book’s cover, to read the entire story), in about 20 minutes. Thinking about why it’s unsettling… The first two paragraphs describe a beautiful day in a peaceful place, where people go about their business, doing ordinaryContinue reading “A short story for Halloween”

A short story for Halloween

‘A Collapse of Horses’ by Brian Evenson Read it here in under 30 minutes. Thinking about why it’s unsettling… The story opens with a shocking statement made by the first-person narrator: his family have died, in an horrific manner, while he’s been injured. His tone when revealing this is utterly detached. And he’s using directContinue reading “A short story for Halloween”

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”

A short story I recently re-read

‘The Bus’, by Shirley Jackson Available here. You can read it in 40 minutes or so. Analysis:  Thinking about structure…  The story begins with the simple statement ‘Miss Harper was going home, although the night was wet and nasty.’ The word ‘home’ is repeated 5 times in the opening paragraph, as the reader is told (without aContinue reading “A short story I recently re-read”

Three of my favourite short stories

The Company of Wolves, by Angela Carter I love adaptations, especially of fairy tales, folk tales, and myths. Adaptations offer endless possibilities for the creation of new worlds and meanings, but within the familiarity of old tales. This particular short story adapts the Little Red Riding Hood oral folk tale, but subverts its original messageContinue reading “Three of my favourite short stories”