story: “The Faery Handbag”
author: Kelly Link
where: afterwork at work
note: There is a free copy of this story online via Small Beer Press!
a line: “If you called the faery handbag by its right name, it would be something like “orzipanikanikcz,” which means the “bag of skin where the world lives,” only Zofia never spelled that word the same way twice. She said you had to spell it a little differently each time. You never wanted to spell it exactly the right way, because that would be dangerous.’”
extra line: “The thing about Zofia and libraries is that she’s always losing library books. She says that she hasn’t lost them, and in fact that they aren’t even overdue, really. It’s just that even one week inside the faery handbag is a lot longer in library-world time.”
theme(s): Death, Magic
story: “The Wedding ”
author: Joy Williams
where: home, home on the range, where the deer and the antelope play
note: The ending reminds me of the Chagall painting “Over the Town”…also his “Wedding” but not as much!
a line: “The people in Elizabeth’s fables were always looking for truth or happiness and they were always being given mirrors or lumps of coals. Elizabeth’s stories were inhabited by wolves and cart horses and solipsists.’”
theme(s): Love, Marriage, Storytelling
author: Jorge Luis Borges
where: home on the range
note: I like chance meetings.
a line: “The pronouncement was an attempt at wit, and I sensed this wasn’t the first time she’d voiced it. I later learned that it was not like her—but what we say is not always like us.”
author: Ulrica Hume
where: on the bus
note: A mother-daughter story! What great characters and writing!
a line: “’When you’re my age,’ she said, ‘You’ll understand about certain men, and all the trouble they’re not worth.’”
story: “Man-eating Cats”
author: Haruki Murakami
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.”
story: “Dance in America”
author: Lorrie Moore
where: home, sleepy and dreamy
note: I am rereading…and searching for a quote I know is in the collection Birds of America…somewhere. Why did I not mark it?
a line: “I sit between the bulletin board and the window.”
story: “Men Without Women”
author: Haruki Murakami
where: golden chaise
note: I haven’t picked up this collection since summer 2017.
a line: “I already know what it is to be the second-loneliest man on earth. But I still don’t know what it is to be the loneliest. A deep gulf separates the second and the first loneliest on earth.”