This has mostly been floating around Instagram, so I thought I’d do it as a recommendation post. I love short story compilations so I figured I’d limit my choices to those.
Published in 1922, it’s pretty old, but not entirely outdated. The stories that I didn’t like, I hated. But those that were better, I adored. I’ve noticed a lot of people, who didn’t particularly love The Great Gatsby, tend to like his short stories. They’re representative of his time. Quick, musical, but slightly morose underneath. He definitely mastered the art of short stories that have a slight level of unbelievability to them. The copy I had, had some stories that are typically included in Flappers & Philosophers, such as two of my favorites, “The Cut-Glass Bowl” & “Bernice Bobs Her Hair.” However, I loved “May Day” & “The Lees of Happiness,” which are typically in this collection. I didn’t enjoy “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” as so many others seem to. But the movie was great!
It was published in 2014, but that makes it one of the newest collections I own. I definitely wouldn’t consider myself part of the cult of readers that rush to buy everything Lish writes. Sometimes I think his stuff is great & other times I think it’s pretentious & annoying. It depends on my mood, & honestly, my willingness to think harder about what I’m reading. But this is one of those for the more disciplined reader. The reader who is probably also a writer. Lish is most famous for carving up Raymond Carver’s work such as, The Beginners, aka, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. But don’t expect short, terse sentences here. Expect tongue-in-cheek editorial rules, such as, when writing HAHAHA, seven is the maximum amount a human can laugh without stopping for breath… The truth behind this is skeptical. The stories all involve a questioning of memory vs fact, the author & the story. Recommended if you actually liked that post-modernism class you took in college. My favorite is “Für Whom?”, for my fangirls/boys out there that’s a play on Fur Elise, that song Hermione & Ron play in the Deathly Hallows movie.
I borrowed this one from my library. I discovered Kelly Link from her YA story, “The Lady & the Fox” in My True Love Gave To Me, edited by Stephanie Perkins. Her newest collection Get In Trouble isn’t available in my library yet, so I got this one instead. I think the more I read from her the more I like her. This one’s from back in 2001, but as the blurb says, “Kelly Link is the exact best & strangest & funniest short story writer on earth that you have never heard of at the exact moment you are reading these words and making them slightly inexact. Now pay for the book” -Jonathan Lethem. She’s definitely been added to my list of favorites. Her stories in this one seem particularly sad, but that might just be me, projecting. But of course, as the title insists, they’re all strange, sometimes eerie in comical ways. My favorites are “Water Off A Black Dog’s Back” & “Flying Lessons.” The latter, I only enjoyed upon reading it a second time.
Okay, so three out of these four are blueish. But the majority of my books are blue. I gravitate toward them on the bookshelf. My closet is blues, blacks, & whites as well. But I will recommend this one a thousand times over. These stories have been compared to a combination of Mother Goose nursery tales & Philip K. Dick sci-fi. They’re like childhood anxiety dreams. I love each & every one of them. Plus Ben Loory’s tweets & retweets are spot on. If you’re only going to read one, read “The TV & Winston Churchill,” I have it printed out & stored in a folder in my desk, I love it so much.
& those are my short story recommendation based off the #SOSNSBSB tag! Hope this encourages you to learn more about at least one of those collections.
I tag anybody who wants to do this post. Once again, if you do it & mention my blog, I’ll link yours here in this post 🙂