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
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.