Archive for the Short Stories Category

“Why I Decide to Kill Myself and Other Jokes”

Posted in Douglas Glover. A Guide To Animal Behavior, Short Stories with tags , , , , on January 30, 2010 by Richard Farrell

A woman steals cyanide from her husband’s lab with the intent of killing herself.  As the plan unfurls (and appears to fail) the relationship between the woman and man comes more into focus.

Mary Gaitskill. “The Little Boy.”

Posted in Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories 2008 with tags , , , , , , on January 30, 2010 by Richard Farrell

Bea Davis thinks about her life while waiting for a flight from Detroit.  She meets a young boy and he triggers a long, interesting series of flashbacks and memories about her own family.

Donald Barthelme. “Me and Ms. Mandible.”

Posted in Short Stories with tags , , on September 24, 2009 by Richard Farrell

A diarist account of a thiry-something year old man who has gone back to elementary school to be re-educated.

Lorrie Moore. “Amahl and the Night Watchmen.”

Posted in Points of View, Short Stories with tags , , , on September 24, 2009 by Richard Farrell

A woman recounts her relationship with her boyfriend through a 2nd person diary.  Her suspicions about him lead her to suspect him having an affair with a woman, then a man, though this is never clearly resolved.

Bejamin Rosenblatt. “Zelig”.

Posted in Short Stories, The Best American Short Stories of the Century. Ed. John Updike with tags , , , , on September 24, 2009 by Richard Farrell

Old Zelig comes from Russia to help out his sick son.  He hears news of the slaughter of jews in his homeland, yet retains a singular vision to return home to Russia at all costs.  More a character sketch than anything else.  Undertones of Dostoevsky.

Richard Ford. Reunion.

Posted in Contemporary American Short Fiction (ed. by J.C. Oates), Short Stories with tags , , , , , , on August 7, 2009 by Richard Farrell

A sophisticated city man sees his ex-lover’s husband in the train station and approaches.  Lots of flashback and character thought.  What is the yearning?  Seems to be a great deal of dramatic irony.  Notice structure of story…very short, only a few narrative present scenes, longer scenes in backstory.  Definitely a moment of change/recognition.

E.L. Doctorow. A House On the Plains.

Posted in Contemporary American Short Fiction (ed. by J.C. Oates), Short Stories with tags , , , , on August 5, 2009 by Richard Farrell

Strange relationship appears between a son and his mother as they prepare to move from Chicago out to the country.  There is no real clue what’s going on at first, but the reader suspects something strange, especially when the mother asks the son to call her “Aunt Dora”.  Story plays with the reader’s imagination to fill in the gaps.  1st person narration.  Relatively compressed time (1 year) and place (2 settings).