400 short stories: story 330

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2019 short stories

story: “Wrong Object”

author: Mona Simpson

year: 2018

where: kitchen at the cottage in Haworth, West Yorkshire, England

note: Read this story in response to an end-of-year post from A Just Recompense; I love this site’s reading and short story analysis. I did not enjoy BASS 2018, so I never got around to BASS 2019 this year, but I love this Mona Simpson story. With that said, I think most of her stories stick with a reader for years and years.

a line: “I’d said that everyone needs to learn how to do laundry. K had shrugged with a look of almost pleasurable guilt. I never did, he said.”

theme(s): Desire, therapy, pedophilia, class

400 short stories: story 329

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2019 short stories

story: “Inventory”

author: Carmen Maria Machado

year: 2017

where: taxi to work

note: There are elements of Find Me by Laura van den Berg in this short story. I can’t say this is my favorite work by Machado, but I am intriguing with the idea of playing with background and foreground in fiction.

a line: “One man. Gray eyes again. I hadn’t seen him in so many years.”

theme(s): Virus outbreak, human contact, survival, globalization

400 short stories: story 327

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2019 short stories

story: “The Husband Stitch”

author: Carmen Maria Machado

year: 2017

where: gold sofa

note: Feelings on Occam’s razor?

craft note: There are stage directions throughout the story.

a line: “Afterward, everyone believed that she had wanted to die, even though she had died proving she wanted to live.”

extra line: “As a grown woman, I would have said to my father that there are true things in this world observed only by a single set of eyes.”

theme(s): Truth, Being believed, Women and Men