Archive for the The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories (Ed. by Ben Marcus) Category

Rick Bass. Field Events.

Posted in Short Stories, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories (Ed. by Ben Marcus) with tags , , on April 24, 2009 by Richard Farrell

Two brothers see a large man swimming down the river.  This man, Jerry,  is huge, and the two brothers adopt him.  They want to train him to throw the shot-put.  One of his sisters falls in love with this gentle giant, who sows mirth and hope amongst his new adoptive family.  But some mystery lurks in his past, something darker.  Eventually, Jerry must decide between his freedom and the love of one of the sisters.

Padgett Powell. Scarliotti and the Sinkhole.

Posted in Short Stories, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories (Ed. by Ben Marcus) with tags , , , on April 11, 2009 by Richard Farrell

Drifter changes his name and receives free grits and anticipates a big settlement from a lawsuit.  He invites a girl to his trailer which is sinking into the ground.  Despite some form of physical malady, she is attracted to him.  Strange structure and imagery.

Ann Carson. Short Talks.

Posted in Short Stories, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories (Ed. by Ben Marcus) with tags , , on April 11, 2009 by Richard Farrell

Post-structuralist ‘story’ about 3 women working in a field.  Look at critical essay.

David Foster Wallace. Brief Interviews With Hideous Men.

Posted in Short Stories, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories (Ed. by Ben Marcus) with tags , , , , , on March 27, 2009 by Richard Farrell

Very unusual structure.  Unseen interviewer conducts interviews with 4 different unnamed men.  The only common link I could find on a first reading was a thread of misoginy.  The first person seems to be institutionalized, and possibly a violent man, but the whole interview centers around his masturbatory fantasies, which verge on the violently strange.   The second interview (N. Miami Beach, FL) seems like an adolescent obsessed with woman…the third series is between 2 men (K & E) who appear to be intellectuals but attack feminist theories.  Not sure there is any character development, or story arc.  Would love to see this analyzed in workshop!  Should read again for form.

Ann Cummins. Where I Work.

Posted in Short Stories, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories (Ed. by Ben Marcus) with tags , , , on March 27, 2009 by Richard Farrell

A young woman begins work at a garment shop, paid $.10 per pocket she sews correctly.  Her subtext is rich, becuase we never really get a clear picture of what has brought her to this point, but there seems to be some haunting event which has brought her to this point.  Her boss and her brother both loom over the woman’s story, and her co-workers both encourage and warn her as she progresses through her three day trial period.  She is at once hopeful and afraid, confident and crushed.

Deborah Eisenberg. Someone to Talk To.

Posted in Short Stories, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories (Ed. by Ben Marcus) on March 4, 2009 by Richard Farrell

The fading talent of the pianist Shapiro moves from pity for his lost ambition to perhaps a broader understanding of his own privilege in the world as he travels to central America to perform a concert.  The contrast of ‘other’ and ‘familiar’ are presented.

Mary Gaitskill. Tiny, Smiling Daddy.

Posted in Short Stories, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories (Ed. by Ben Marcus) on February 21, 2009 by Richard Farrell

Really cool story about a father who discovers his lesbian daughter has published an article in Self magazine about their relationship.  The article itself becomes the pursued thing in most of this story.  The father’s curiosity about what was said becomes a central driving action.  Would be a good one to look at for structure.