300 short stories:: story 189

story: “Man-eating Cats”

author: Haruki Murakami

year: 2006

where: in palestra

note: a reread, a favorite, a fantasy!

a line: “The wind was the wind at the edge of the world. An inescapable retro color filled the place. It made me feel as if I were being quietly swallowed up by an alien reality, something foreign and just out of reach, vague yet strangely gentle. And the shadow of that substance colored the faces, the eyes, the skin of the people gathered in the harbor.”

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300 short stories:: story 188

story: “The Year of Spaghetti”

author: Haruki Murakami

year: 2006 (originally 2005 in The New Yorker)

where: home, bed

note: Murakami just loves to weave in a mention of spaghetti in his long and short fiction; and this story (and his year of cooking and eating alone) makes me feel so content with my love of solitude.

a line: “Can you imagine how astonished the Italians would be if they knew that what they were exporting in 1971 was really loneliness?”

300 short stories:: story 187

story: “Five Questions for the Snake Charmer”

author: C Pam Zhang

year: 2019

where: read on my phone

note: something short and not sweet

a line: “Pinned under that false gold, he’ll look as much the good Chinese boy as I am the bad Chinese girl, the kind who makes a public spectacle out of alcoholism as if she’s white and blonde and carefree and doesn’t drag a whole race’s reputation behind her.”

300 short stories:: story 186

story: “Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman”

author: Haruki Murakami

year: 2006

where: midday and golden

note: I love Murakami’s introduction to this collection. He writes, “My short stories are like soft shadows I’ve set out in the world, faint footprints I’ve left behind.”

a line: “My cousin lived nearby, but I was just over a decade older than him and we had never been what you’d call close.”

300 short stories:: story 183

story: “The Bostons”

author: Carolyn Cooke

year: 2001

where: home sweet home

note: The descriptions of the wife’s hair were a highlight. I can’t help feeling like I missed something in this story.

a line: “She was always, in his recollections of her, eating something crumbly, or else she was running it off, or just coming in from a run, standing in the kitchen eating a muffin, damp-looking in shorts and a torn t-shirt, her legs an alarming shade of red.