Archive for the The Best American Short Stories of the Century. Ed. John Updike Category

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.

Carolyn Ferrell. Proper Library.

Posted in Short Stories, The Best American Short Stories of the Century. Ed. John Updike with tags , , , , , , , on April 19, 2009 by Richard Farrell

Lorrie, a young African American boy living in the Bronx, takes care of his friends and relatives, studies for school, tries to avoid trouble in the neighborhood, but trouble finds him.  Because he is gay, or at least outwardly effeminate, he runs into trouble constantly.  The reason I question his homosexuality is because this boy seems like sex is almost beside the point; he simply wants to give and receive love.  Most of the characters rely on him for care in one way or another, but Lorrie ends the story by seeking Rakeem, a cousin who he has fallen in love with.   Themes of school, violence, urban stereotypes and family are all present.