Two Irish masters of the short story, one following quite literally in the other’s footsteps. William Trevor’s story “Two More Gallants,” published in 1986 in the collection The News From Ireland, takes as its subject James Joyce’s story “Two Gallants” from The Dubliners, published in 1914.
Raymond Carver insisted that his iconic masterpiece “Cathedral” was not based on a lesser-known D.H. Lawrence story entitled “The Blind Man,” and that he had not read the story prior to writing “Cathedral."
Marian Crotty’s superb short story collection, What Counts as Love, won the 2017 John Simmons Short Fiction Award, judged by Andre Dubus III.
Bret Anthony Johnston’s “Boy” is very much an homage as well as a companion piece to Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl.” The ways in which Johnston chose to mirror Kincaid’s piece show us the gender, class, and race equivalencies. Both Kincaid and Johnston are most interested in gender and the lessons
Could there be a better way to pay homage to an author than to include the writer as a character in the fiction? In Ali Smith’s story “The Ex-Wife,” included in her collection Public Library and Other Stories, the writer Katherine Mansfield is the other woman.
“The Yellow Wallpaper” was published in 1892 by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and remains a staple of early feminist fiction. In 1983, Doris Lessing responded to Perkins Gilman’s classic story with “To Room Nineteen,” in part to point out how little had changed in the lives of women.
While Cheever pays homage to James in both the themes of change and loss, as well as in the construction of his story, he uses the differences between the two stories to critique the mid-century American way of life.
There are many hard edges here—a pervading sense of doom hovers throughout—but my favorite moments are when we get to see the softer, more interior side of these characters.
The narrator in Rivka Galchen's story "The Lost Order" is akin to Walter Mitty, the protagonist in James Thurber's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," who sees himself as defined only in his dreams, not by the man he is in real life. They are both negative images.
Based on a Ray Bradbury short story, Elton John's “Rocket Man” was released the same week as the Apollo 16 launch, and echoes of the story can still be found on the surface of the moon.