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 184

story: “Commerce and Residue”

author: Tim Fitts

year: 2017 (in Go Home and Cry for Yourselves)

where: mio ufficio

note: a great story for our age of cultural appropriation politics

a line: “Marcus slightly envied the fact that Pham had an automatic angle borne into her. She was part of the diaspora. Her father had spent time in re-education camps.”

300 short stories:: story 169

story: “The Adventure of a Soldier”

author: Italo Calvino

year: 1984 (English translation)

where: Philadelphia train

note: Such great description of how time stretches in the moments of nearness to someone we desire.

a line: “This meeting of calves was precious, but it came at a price, a loss: in fact, the body’s weight was shifted and the reciprocal support of the hips no longer occurred with the same docile abandon.”

300 short stories:: story 166

story: “The Lost Order”

author: Rivka Galchen

year: 2014

where: casa dolce casa

note: I can’t recall the stimulus for purchasing Galchen’s book, American Innovations, and this makes me sad. I hate forgetting. This story has a ring like Carver’s “A Small, Good Thing”…a ringing call. The main character also feels like a more morose and confused Lorrie Moore character.

a line: “I have not always–had not even long–been a daylight ghost, a layabout, a mal pensant, a vacancy, a housewife, a person foiled by the challenge of getting dressed and someone who considered eating less a valid primary goal.”

300 short stories:: story 163

story: “Now That the Circus Has Shut Down, the Human Cannonball Looks for Work”

author: Meghan Phillips

year: 2018

where: 我的办公室 (again)

note: This short short story has the punch at the end like contemporary English poetry. Maybe it has something to do with its length too; though it would not be mistaken for a prose poem.

a line: “He’s happy to be a reference, but he’s not sure how much weight the words of a clown will carry.”