Excerpt: William Trevor almost always describes a character early in the story, using only a sentence or two, but getting at the essence of the character in a way that feels intimate and true. The descriptions are highly visual, often focusing on the face, but always gesturing towards characterization.
In A Lucky Man, Jamel Brinkley’s stunning debut collection, the stories are not formally linked, and yet they are, implicitly, by their beautiful prose, by their intimate gaze at character, by their focus on black men, by their setting in New York City.
The Female Persuasion never disappoints: there are twists and turns that keep us guessing, new voices to take on the storytelling task, and heartbreak as friends and lovers disappoint, deceive, and part ways.
It’s great fun to watch Ausubel’s enormous imagination at work and to share the joy that emerges from her writing. That said, the strongest, and most haunting, stories in the collection make the magical real as they examine loss.
Falling into this book and living completely in its world for a day or two may be just the right way to read it.
Accused of a crime he didn’t commit, Roy is sent to prison after he and his wife Celestial have been married for less than two years.
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