Our short story club will meet soon and it is my wife's turn to make the next selection. When it is my turn, I take to it with glee and abandon and read and read and read but, bless her heart, having to choose a story makes Mrs. Next rather anxious. In an effort to calm her nervous heart, I bought a few collections and pulled out a few other suggestions from the bookshelves.
She is enjoying A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler and Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (who I once saw in person and couldn't believe an actual human could be so strikingly beautiful).
In an effort to help her cover more ground, I'm reading Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by the wonderfully-named Wells Tower and revisiting Sonny Liston Was a Friend of Mine by Tom Jones (no, not that Tom Jones). Tower has the goods and it is a wild ride of a read. Jones' third collection isn't holding up as well as I'd remembered but he can still stop me in my tracks.
Esquire recently ran Twin Forks by Daniel Woodrell, which I found quite powerful. My beloved One Story recently published Surprise Party by the marvelous Etgar Keret. I found it hilarious and sad though I must admit it's not likely to be Mrs. Next's cup of tea.
I also suggested two from recent issues of the New Yorker, the confounding Going For a Beer by Robert Coover and The Other Place, a dark and frightening story by Mary Gaitskill.
She will make her choice soon but it's been such fun to "cram" all these short stories.
Look for upcoming posts on Emma Donoghue's ROOM and Stephen Kelman's forthcoming novel, Pigeon English.
So much for keeping it short.