Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘short story month 2012’

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Stories We Love: "A&P"

It just kept nosing its way into my own novel—“A&P” by John Updike. I’d first read it when teaching lit classes years before, and now, as I finished my third novel, my characters kept making references to it: a girl’s mind “just a little buzz like a bee in a glass jar” or the way the boy at the register sees the girls’ bathing suits. Knowing it’s best to let the subconscious have its way while writing fiction, I let the story in, even as I wondered what it was doing there. My novel, Grand Isle, was in print a […]

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Thoughts on shorts: Danielle Evans

“[T]he value of a short story is the same as the value of all literature—that it allows a person to confront the world in a new way, that at its best it has the power to act as a transformative experience, and to leave the reader changed—smarter and more empathetic. I think there’s something especially lovely about being able to have a complete, meaningful emotional experience in the time it takes to read ten to twenty pages.” ~ Danielle Evans Further Reading: Read more about Danielle Evans on Fiction Writers Review Looking for something to read? Check out the Stories […]

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Stories We Love: "The Showrunner"

I’ll be totally honest: I really did not expect to like Frankie Thomas’s “The Showrunner” at all. It starts off at a casting session for a fictional Disney-esque tween series, and not only am I biased against stories that saturate themselves in current pop culture—I tend to like a little patina on my cultural references—I expected the story to be as flimsy as the TV show at its center. I was completely wrong. Within half a page, I was unable to put the piece down. (No joke: I was late to pick up my son from daycare, I was that […]

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Stories We Love: American Masculine

Fresh from a relationship with a feminist scholar, I was on guard against Shann Ray’s American Masculine before I even cracked its spine. With a title like that, I thought, you’d better have a gay man in Chelsea, a drag queen in Flint, a straight man watching a hired man wash his yacht, a man living out of the back of a Volvo in a Wal-Mart parking lot, a Hispanic man washing dishes, a Hispanic man climbing the corporate ladder; you’d better provide one heckova Whitmanian catalog of Masculinity in the U.S. of A. My suspicions only deepened as I […]

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Thoughts on shorts: Wells Tower

“I think the best stories start from something tiny. […] A short story can easily destroy itself through metastasis. I think if you start a story with more than two scenes in mind, you may be doomed. At least you have a hell of a lot of work ahead of you. If I start off trying to get at this one little moment, that’s all I want to do. And then I have to build the world that makes that moment happen.” ~ Wells Tower Further Reading: Read more about Wells Tower on Fiction Writers Review Looking for something to […]

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Stories We Love: "A Change of Fashion"

Yesterday, I saw a woman wearing a garment that straddled the line between shorts and panties. Her outfit was revealing, and it made me ask questions like, “how far will fashion go?” and “what was she thinking?” Perhaps author Steven Millhauser had a similar experience at some point, and that led him to write “A Change of Fashion,” a short story that originally appeared in Harper’s Magazine, May 2006. What would happen if next season’s fashions did not favor a slightly shorter hemline or a higher heel, but hiddenness? What if dresses took on shapes larger than Victorian hoop skirts […]