story: “The Disappeared” author: Blake Butler year: 2013 where: Quarantine note: I learned about this story from a charming essay on Lit Hub by Nick Ripatrazone. It was described as “a story about a boy’s longing for his missing mother during a pandemic, and how we have to hold on to hope even when the entire world feels like it is falling apart.” a line: “The police showed up and bent him over and led […]
story: “Snakes” author: Danielle Evans year: 2010 from before you suffocate your own fool self where: Quarantine note: I like how this story showed how fear can develop; the example here is a fear of snakes, but it hints at the fear of abandonment and the “other” too. a line: “A confession: because I didn’t know the difference between kinds of intimacy back then, I told each of the first four men I slept with […]
story: “A Story for Your Daughters, A Story for Your Sons” author: Rebecca Makkai year: 2020 where: Quarantine note: This is a new story from the Spring 2020 issue of The Paris Review; the first paragraph is gorgeous and reads like a fairy tale. For people interested in stories of female utopias (Charlotte Perkins Gillman, Doris Lessing, etc.) this one is for your collection. a line: “His father, before he died, had circled a small […]
*This video has many problems: lighting, weird ending, excessive “likes”…apologies.
story: “The Venus Effect” author: Violet Allen year: 2015 where: Temporary office. I just finished teaching Namwali Serpell’s “The Banality of Empathy” and I am currently cringing at my younger self who believed that art encourages empathy and that empathy will SAVE US ALL! note: “The Banality of Empathy” led me to this amazing short story. I suggest reading it alongside (or before, or after) Allen. This story’s structure uses what Bertolt Brecht calls the […]