400 short stories: story 319

story: “A Visit of Charity”

author: Eudora Welty

year: 1963

where: Burj al Salam, Dubai

note: Great introduction from Ann Patchett to Welty’s The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty.

a line: “ ‘Did you come to be our little good for a while?’ the first robber asked.”

theme(s): Old Age, Old women, Charity, health


400 short stories: story 318

story: “The Weeping Child”

author: Jane Gardam

year: 1963

where: Burj al Salam, Dubai

note: I just ordered her collection. I love the ending of this story, because it doesn’t follow the conventional rules of short stories. “A ghost of somebody who is still alive”–amazing!

a line: “I saw only the housekeeper who was a slut and kept a television set going–with the sound turned down–the whole time I was with her. All the time she looked at it.”

theme(s): Mother daughter, ghost story, colonialism

400 short stories: story 317

story: “The Ice Wagon Going Down the Street”

author: Mavis Gallant

year: 1963

where: Burj al Salam, Dubai

note: reread

a line: “Snow, which he tasted, melted on her hands. His gesture of licking snow from her hands was formal as a handshake.”

theme(s): Self-delusion, expatriate life, storytelling, loyalty

400 short stories: story 316

story: “My Wife is a White Russian”

author: Rose Tremain

year: 1983

where: nail salon

note: I’ve been deep in Ferrante land and not reading as many short stories.

a line: “To the nurse I tried to say when I felt a movement begin: ‘Teach me how to wipe my arse. I cannot let my wife do this because she doesn’t love me. If she loved me, she probably wouldn’t mind wiping my arse and I wouldn’t mind her wiping my arse. But she doesn’t love me.'”

theme(s): Disability, May-December relationship, communication

400 short stories: story 315

story: “Legends of the White Lady”

author: Mia Alvar

year: 2011

where: home sweet home

note: Utterly absorbing–would say more, but rushing!

a line: “’I’ve never had to leave my country to find work,” he said, ‘but thanks.’”

theme(s): Nationality, migration, beauty, age,