Tag Archives: Short Stories

Why George Saunders Needs to Stop Repeating Himself

Tenth of December by George Saunders

A major risk for any author—especially one whose main theme involves human consciousness—is overusing certain techniques and letting the voices of characters overlap and repeat.

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What Becomes by A.L. Kennedy

cover of what becomes by a.l. kennedy

The stories in A.L. Kennedy’s What Becomes seem driven by two entities: the author’s brain and her prose appendage. The latter is so alive it appears to possess a separate language pulse. In heightened moments Kennedy uses language to bind thought to physical sensation, which in turn stimulates a replicated response in the brain of the reader. This simulated experience is what makes her stories so striking and also intense.

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Great Story: “The Country of the Blind” by H.G. Wells

There’s always terror at the edge of Wells’s vision, linked to his awareness of how much humanity has to lose.

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“Cousin Teresa” by Saki

On one level, Saki (H. H. Munro) was clearly reproaching the British for being less concerned with the maintenance of their Empire than with the domains of popular entertainment and dogs – and who can blame them really?

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The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Whether their subjugation is political, familial, romantic, or cultural, Adichie’s headstrong and heartstrong heroines reach a point where they take action to loosen whatever is choking them.

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Gary Lutz’s Stories in the Worst Way

Philip Christman reviews the Calamari Press reissue of Lutz’s 1996 collection

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Great Story: "A Hunger Artist" by Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka was the twentieth-century writer who spoke most directly to the human heart; this was one of the last stories he wrote.

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Some April IDT Staff Reading

Mara Naselli: The New New Journalism, a book of interviews edited by Robert Boynton, an essential reader for people interested in studying the craft of reporting nonfiction, and (rereading) John Hersey’s Hiroshima, a classic in of the narrative nonfiction form. Also, just arrived on my doorstep, a purchase inspired by a superb and hauntingly vivid […]

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A Ridiculous Month of Reading

I’m amid “The Species Crown,” short stories by Curtis Smith (Press 53), who is from Pennsylvania and therefore to be trusted. Picture postcards, these stories are, from the mind of Smith, intricate sketchings on the backs of matchbooks. The second-person abounds in a way that normally makes me uncomfortable, but Smith pulls it off, for […]

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Short Story Days

I’ve been on a great short story kick, and it seems to be continuing. I used to be a fairly exclusive novel reader, in it for the investment, the sloppiness, and the grandeur. Stories were nice, I thought, but easy. Fool that I was. Now I’m learning that stories are anything but easy and that […]

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Revolutionary Road

So much has been written about this book, but in the case of an underappreciated “writer’s writer” like Yates, it seems you can’t really praise him enough.

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Bauman’s Latest Reading Report

I’ve been much delayed in writing this or anything else lately, due to walking pneumonia. I’m not really sure what that means, but the symptoms matched the descriptor: For about a month, I was quite able to walk around but not so able to breathe. It was uncomfortable. Sometimes I secretly like being sick because […]

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Review of Alice Munro’s Runaway

Angie Kritenbrink reviews Alice Munro’s newest collection of stories

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