300 short stories:: story 106

story: St. Clair Flats

author: Constance Fenimore Woolson

year: 1873

where: Dubai and Abu Dhabi

note: For half the story I thought the main characters were a woman and a man, and I considered this extraordinary for its time (late 19th century) since the characters seemed to be unmarried and not the least perturbed to ‘Lewis and Clark’ around the American Great Lakes, but alas, I learned the characters were two male companions!

a line: “How boundless is looks! One hill in the distance, one dark line of forest, even one tree, would break its charm. I have seen the ocean, I have seen the prairies, I have seen the great desert, but this is like a mixture of the three. It is an ocean full of land, –a prairie full of water, –a desert full of verdure.’”

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100 days 100 short stories:: story 40

story: A Permanent Member of the Family  

author: Russell Banks

year: 2013

where: taxi ride home

note: reading American writers during this week of sadness for America

a line: “So when one loses it prematurely, in childhood and adolescence, through divorce or the sudden early death of a parent or, more usually, war, it can leave one fixated on that loss for a lifetime.”