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Short Stories


  1. The High Places – Fiona McFarlane (13 short stories) #AWW2020
  2. Marriages – Amy Witting (6 short stories)  #AWW2020






  1. I uses several templates for keeping notes while
  2. reading a SS and moving on to the next story in the collection.
  3. template for reviewing in depth 1 short story (see: You’ll Never Know, Dear How Much I Love You (Updike) or The Piano Teacher’s Pupil (Trevor), Memories of Youghal (Trevor)..or a
  4. template for a quick review with just a conclusion (You Know How it is (Anna Spargo-Ryan) or Bottle Party (John Collier). Sometimes I want to read all the stories and use a
  5. template to really delve into a short story collection: This is very tiring and I only do it for a few collections (max 14-16 stories) The Pull of the Moon(Canadian Julie Paul).


#DealMeIn2018     hosted by   @Bibliophilopolis

1. 03.01.2017 – READ

In With a Chance by Kathleen Murray in The Dublin Review nr 69. Her writing was clear and simple with a great eye for detail…like Raymond Carver….but she has a long way to go before she fairly can be compared to him.This was an excellent short story, I am amazed! Ms Murray ticks off all the boxes: believable dialogue without being trivialshows…does not tell and leaves hints all throughout the story about the characters. For example, Martin, the narrator…he keeps his clothes in the kitchen cabinets. Now, that is a definite red flag, this man lives alone! Ms Murray’s writing is terse and powerful. She is one of the fresh new Irish voices.  Here is the link for  Cork International Short Story Festival!

2. 07.01.2018 – READ

Bottle Party by John Collier in his collection Fancies and Goodnights vol 1.  Collier was  British novelist, poet and occasional screenwriter…best known as the author of macabre or bizarre short stories with trick endings.  Tone: spooky!  The main character Franklin Fletcher wants a hobby and buys a Jinn in a bottle to grant his wishes: palace with the most beautiful girl in the world.  Of course strange things happen! I loved Collier’s description right out of a Hollywood B-film: plump and dusky muscles (swarthy or dark-skinned); the Jinn withdrew with a a soapy smile (excessively suave or ingratiating). MORAL: don’t fear one who attacks… fear the fake friend that hugs you!

3.   10.01.2018 – READ

Feather Your Nest by Anne O’ Brien  won the Bath Short Story Prize 2016.  Tone: Familiar, casual family talk – characters ask each other questions about the recent ‘house for sale’ sign next door. The narrator watches neighbors closely. They have something the narrator is longing for. Conflict Internal:  ‘I want to scream’. – narrator reveals hidden fears…37 yrs…there’s still time….but for what? Conflict External: “Burnout’ with one word we imagine pressure at work? emotional demand? Work-family conflict? It makes me curious to read further. Conclusion: Satisfied? Ending left me empty.    Did story fascinate you? Not at all  How did it make you feel? I struggled with the story. The dialogue did not add to the atmosphere (no tit-for-tat between husband and wife that I expected especially if one partner is struggling with a burnout.)  Descriptions flow.. (images of the  body: patches of eczema, hair legs, thinning crown of a head, builders bottoms, dark sweat stains on t-shirts, plump hand, marrow of my bones) but did not jolt me.

Short Stories by James Tiptree jr.

BiographyJames Tiptree Jr.: The Double Life of Alice Sheldon – Julie Phillips


9.04.2018 – READ    The Last Flight of Doctor Ain:  (1969)

  • The story drifts between the past and present.
  • Dr. Ain is on a mission to save the world for a “later race”.
  • Allusions to W.H. Hudson’s novel Green Mansions and
  • the “Gaea Gloriatric“….Gaia is the ancestral mother of all life
  • are the keys that will unlock the theme in the story.
  • Dr Ain boards his last flight and no one sees the  moral insanity inside him.
  • Note: After the first reading I was confused.
  • It took a second reading and some note taking to
  • finally appreciate this classic short story by one of SF   ‘grande dames’.

18.02.2019 – READ   The Screwfly Solution (review)

18.02.2019 – READ  And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the Cold Hill’s Side  (review)

19.02.2019 – READ – The Girl Who Was Plugged in  (review)




  1. Short story:  Audition – S. Sayarfiwezadeh – READ (The New Yorker 10.09.2018)
  2. The Knights Tale (classic) – Chaucer – READ  17.11.2018

  1. The Pull of the Moon  – Julie Paul – (12 stories) – READ #CanBookChallenge 16.12.20189
  2. Saints and Sinners – E. O’BrienREAD  #ReadingIrelandMonth19 (short stories)


Read 28.01.2019The Complete Stories – Flannery O’ Connor     (31 stories)


Read:  13.02.2019  –   The British Short Story – A. Maunder  (reference book)


Read: 17.02.2019  The Cambridge Introduction to The American Short Story


Read: 21.02,2019   28 Tales by Edgar Allan Poe


UPDATE: 16.08.2019

  1. Show Them a Good Time – Nicole Flattery  (8 short stories) – READ


UPDATE: 22.08.2019

  1. The Empty Family –  C. Tóibin (9 short stories) – READ


  1. Fancies and Goodnights – J. Collier  (32 short stories) – READ



TBR:   Stories published in 2019 The New Yorker:

  1. The Confession – Leila Slimani –  READ 13.02.2019  (short…and pointless)
  2. Asleep at the Wheel – T. C. Boyle – READ  13.02.2019  ( too long and pointless)




TBR:     Stories published in 2018  The New Yorker:

  1. Whoever is there, come on through – Colin BarettREAD    11.02.2019 (
  2. Foreign Returned – S. Shepard – READ  17.02.2019 (Plagiarism? HERE)
  3. Texas – David Gates – READ – 17.02.2019 (…waste of time)
  4. Writing Teacher – John E. Wideman – READ – 17.02.2019 (…I expected more from this very famous writer. Thoughts rambled on in a nebulous, vague way. Not every story has an epiphany…but I wish this one had at least a ‘point’ !
  5. The Boundary – J. Lahiri
  6. Bronze – Jeffrey Eugenides
  7. Stansville – Rachel Kushner
  8. Mrs. Crasthorpe – Willliam Trevor
  9. Seeing Ershadi – Nicole Kraus
  10. The Poltroon Husband – Joseph O’ Neill
  11. No More Maybe – Gish Jen
  12. The State – Tommy Orange
  13. The Intermediate Class – Sam Allingham


  1. The State of Nature – Camille Bordas
  2. How Did We Come to Know You – Keith Gressen
  3. A Flawless Silence – Yiyun Li
  4. Treatments – Robert Coover
  5. The Boarder – Isaac Bashevis Singer
  6. Without Inspection – Edwidge Danticat
  7. The Long Black Line – John L’Heureux
  8. Stay Down and Take It – Ben Marcus
  9. Silver Tiger – Lu Wang
  10. Orange World – Karen Russel
  11. Fungus – David Gilbert
  12. Omakase – Weike Wang
  13. The Luck of Kotura – Gary Shteyngart


  1. The First World – Joseph O’ Neill
  2. Under the Wave – Lauren Groff
  3. The Dog – J.M. Coetzee (Dec 2017)
  4. No More Than Ever – Zadie Smith
  5. I Walk Between the Raindrops – T. Coraghessan Boyle
  6. Displaced – Richard Ford
  7. A Refugee Crisis – Callan Wink
  8. Ways and Means – Sana Krasikov
  9. The Wind Cave – Haruki Murakami
  10. Cecilia Awakened – Tessa Hadley
  11. Poor Girl – Ludmilla Petrushevssky
  12. When We Were Happy We Had Other Names – Yiyun Li
  13. The Rise and Rise of Annie Clark – John L’Heureux


  1. The Coast of Leitrim – Kevin Barry (Ireland)
  2. Flaubert Again – Anne Carson
  3. Waugh – Bryan Washington
  4. Backpack – Tom Earley
  5. Cattle Praise Song – S. Mukasonga
  6. Show Recent Some Love – Sam Lipsyte
  7. The Frog King – Garth Greenwell
  8. Snowing in Greenwich Village – John Updike
  9. Children are Bored on Sunday – Jean Stafford
  10. Chaunt – Jay Williams
  11. Time for the Eyes to Adjust – Linn Ullmann
  12. Acceptance Journey – Mary Gaitskill
  13. The Lazy River – Zadie Smith (Dec 2017)