300 short stories:: story 191

story: “The Watch”

author: Elie Wiesel

year: 1964

where: NYU Abu Dhabi Library

note: rereading to teach on Sunday

a line: “The glorious masters of our municipality were jubilant: they were rid of us, there would be no more kaftans on the street.”

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300 short stories:: story 104

story: Come Running

author: Tim Raymond

year: 2017

where: Al Reem, post-bath

note: a Glimmer Train read

a line: “It’s like God took a big ice cream scoop and scooped out the place in my stomach where all the invisible butterflies live. Then God said, ‘You don’t even know what butterflies are. That’s my point.'”

300 short stories:: story 103

story: Train to Harbin 

author: Asako Serizawa

year: 2016

where: Abu Dhabi, my gold chaise lounge

note: This is a story both epic and intimately personal about a Japanese doctor stationed in Pingfang (now Northern China, then the Japanese puppet-state Manchukuo) during WWII, where terrible war crimes, including human experimentation, were committed.

a line: “Perhaps it is simply the mind, which, in its inability to accept a fact, returns to it, sharpening the details, resolving the image, searching for an explanation that the mind, with its slippery grasp on causality, will never be able to find. Most days I am spared by the habits of routine. But when the air darkens like this, turning the windows inward, truncating the afternoon, the present recedes, its thin hold on consciousness no match for the eighty-two years that have already claimed it.”

*If you want, follow me on Instagram (samantha.neugebauer) for more on what I am reading and doing. 

100 short stories:: story 96

story: Spring in Fialta 

author: Vladimir Nabokov

year: 1936 (English 1947)

where: Dubai,  Al Habtoor Polo Resort

note: sometimes on an ordinary day, you need to read a masterpiece

a line: “And regardless of what happened to me or to her, in between, we never discussed anything, as we never thought of each other during the intervals in our destiny, so that when we met the pace of life altered at once, all its atoms were recombined, and we lived in another, lighter time-medium, which was measured not by the lengthy separations but by those few meetings of which a short, supposedly frivolous life was thus artificially formed. ”

100 short stories:: story 91

story: Dance in America

author: Lorrie Moore

year: 1994

where: bedroom, taxi, a couple places

note: homesick

a line: “’We have raccoons sometimes in our chimney,’ explains Simone.”