A few days ago, I realized I needed to get over this silly thing about not reading short stories…especially now that I’ve been writing them for the last 3 years. I feel like one of those people who shows up in every workshop, who ‘wants to be a writer’ but hasn’t read a book since ‘Flowers in the Attic’ in the 7th grade.
I read plenty of canonical short stories in undergrad, and even plenty that I remember with fondness or appreciation. Stories like “A&P” by John Updike, or “A Rose for Emily,” by William Faulkner, or Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” – okay, I didn’t like that one, but I remember it.
After college, I voluntarily read the entire book of Sherman Alexie’s The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, and, in the throes of a reader-crush, a book of Haruki Murakami’s short stories while I waited for his next novel to be translated. Both experiences were pretty positive, but hmm, that would be about 10 years ago.
Since then, I tried Kelly Link’s Magic for Beginners, because she very unhelpfully hasn’t written a novel yet and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I kind of liked the one about the zombies and the convenience store, but mostly I kind of just didn’t get it, and I only read a few of the stories.
But, there’s always room for improvement, so I’m going to give it another try. In fact, I already have. I read a story last week (review to come), and now I have signed up for the Try Something New mini-challenge.