short story Archive

Quiet Resistance in Yiyun Li’s “A Flawless Silence”

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
In Yiyun Li’s short story “A Flawless Silence” from The New Yorker, the main character Min is in a relationship where she does not feel completely safe standing up to her husband. But, as the reader sees, Min often uses silence to her advantage.

The Classism of Dental Work in Erin McGraw’s Short Story “Teeth”

Author: | Categories: Reading No comments
There are many ways in which teeth can also set people apart. In the short story “Teeth” from the January/February issue of Kenyon Review Online, Erin McGraw explores classism and the power of wealth through the symbol of teeth.

Long and Short of It

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing No comments
In the term short story, “short” is a little baggy. You might find, within a collection of short stories, some that are a few pages, some that are thirty or more. Compared to a five-hundred-page novel, of course, neither of these is a long piece of writing. Both are

The Art of the Sad Birthday

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing No comments
Are you a writer looking for a situation with built-in irony and ample opportunities for subtext? Have you considered a melancholy birthday scene? I’ve collected a few merciless examples for consideration. “Referential,” by Lorrie Moore Moore dives into the irony of the sad celebration in the first paragraph of

Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Wagyu Fungo” by Soon Wiley

Author: | Categories: Reading, Series No comments
I remember a conversation I had with a professor in grad school, where we discussed the various blessings and difficulties of trying to produce art using the same materials—language—used for so many other, less graceful, purposes (for example, junk mail and mudslinging). In “Wagyu Fungo,” (Harpur Palate) explores a

The Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Sudden Squall” by Judy Reeves

Author: | Categories: Reading, Series No comments
Leaving one’s spouse takes a lot of courage, and in the culture of the 1950s, that was even more the case. In “Sudden Squall” (Connotation Press), Judy Reeves explores a mother making that difficult choice, employing a particular sentence structure to shape the thematic content and reveal her protagonist’s character. Two

Postcards from Unexpected Places

Author: | Categories: Reading No comments
Like long handwritten letters and atlases, postcards descend from another world now deemed impractical. They belong to the world of Denis Breen in James Joyce’s Ulysses and Loyal Blood and his travels across the American West in Annie Proulx’s Postcards. Ruth, in Lorrie Moore’s story “Real Estate,” finds the

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

Author: | Categories: Interviews No comments
  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: “How to Eat Chicken Wings” by Kristen Arnett

Author: | Categories: Reading, Series No comments
Flannery O’Connor wrote, “The longer you look at one object, the more of the world you see in it.” In her second-person flash fiction piece “How to Eat Chicken Wings,” (Tin House/The Open Bar) Kristen Arnett takes a long look at the object in her title, and what’s revealed

The Best Short Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Golden Land” by Sunisa Nardone

Author: | Categories: Reading, Series No comments
The ways in which we humans find our sense of community and identity—nationality, race, religion, class, family etc.—are often also what make connecting with people that don’t share our backgrounds more difficult. Sunisa Nardone’s “Golden Land” (Atlas and Alice) explores the many obstacles facing strangers struggling to connect while awaiting