short stories Archive

Review: WHISKEY, ETC.: SHORT (SHORT) STORIES by Sherrie Flick

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In her miniature portraits of a failed salesman transformed through food, a forgetful elderly woman, a young woman making dinner for a sometime-boyfriend at the same moment that he is dying, Flick examines seduction and heartbreak, the complications of new relationships, the dynamics of long-time ones, love, loss, and

“I know that reality and truth are not always the same thing”: An Interview with Christos Ikonomou

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Christos Ikonomou is the author of three short story collections, including Something Will Happen, You’ll See (Archipelago Books, trans. Karen Emmerich, 2016), for which he won the National Short Story Prize. Something Will Happen, You’ll See, a devastating and sparingly written collection of stories about the Greek crisis in

The Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Ghost Jeep” by Micah Dean Hicks

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When one deals with loss they also, inevitably, also end up exploring the nature of justice in the world: whether matters of life and death are indeed fair, or something else entirely. In “Ghost Jeep,” (Sycamore Review) Micah Dean Hicks navigates these questions through three ghosts who meet a

Challenging Cultural Norms: Contemporary British Women Authors

It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I realized what I’d been searching for all along. An avid reader, I absorbed a variety of books during my childhood and adolescence. These were carefully screened by my well-meaning but stifling folks, who paled at the thought me reading

Good Bad Women: Irene Adler

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I’ve been thinking a lot about Irene Adler, you know, “the woman” from Sherlock Holmes. You see, I’ve been looking for good bad women in short stories. Murderers, criminals, drug dealers and scoundrels of all types. I’m on a quest, really, for the kinds of women that take active

Origin Stories: Fiction by Prompt

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How do great authors begin their fiction? With a line or a character, a memory or a mission? This year, as Ploughshares’s unofficial origin-story archivist, I’ll investigate. Because I’m a teacher, I started by looking for stories that grew out of writing assignments. Here’s what I found. 1. Amy

It Never Rains on National Day: an interview with writer Jeremy Tiang

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  Jeremy Tiang is a fiction writer, playwright, and translator from Singapore. His short story collection It Never Rains on National Day was published by Epigram Books in 2015, and is available at Epigram Books’ website. He lives in Brooklyn and was recently featured in the Singapore Writers Festival. We caught

The Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Once You Learn, You Never Forget” by Anthony Varallo

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Few images are more boilerplate in capturing the parental role of ushering a child towards independence than that of parent teaching a child how to ride a bike—the pushing, the holding, the letting go, the tears. In “Once You Learn, You Never Forget” (Cimarron Review), Anthony Varallo resurrects this

Review: THE STATE WE’RE IN: MAINE STORIES by Ann Beattie

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THE STATE WE’RE IN: MAINE STORIES Ann Beattie Scribner, Aug 2015 224 pages $25 buy: hardcover | eBook Maine, for Ann Beattie in her new collection, is a state of life, and that is the beautiful trick of the title, The State We’re In: Maine Stories. It is both

Review: NOTHING LOOKS FAMILIAR by Shawn Syms

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NOTHING LOOKS FAMILIAR Shawn Syms Arsenal Pulp Press Published in Canada September 2014; available elsewhere since May 2015 184 pages $15.95 Buy paperback | NOOK | Kindle Complex characters are damn hard to write. Perhaps this explains why contemporary fiction is full of characters designed to be relatable and easily digestible. These