300 short stories:: story 209

story: “Vampires in the Lemon Grove”

author: Karen Russell

year: 2012

where: Eat Greek, mid-afternoon

note: the collection’s title story

a line: “There is a loneliness that must be particular to monsters, I think, the feeling that each is the only child of a species. And now that loneliness was over.”

theme(s): marriage and longevity

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300 short stories:: story 207

story: “The Finkelstein”

author: Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

year: 1989

where: a few places–taxi, cafe, office, home

note: from Friday Black 

a line: “Emmanuel stepped outside into the world, his Blackness at a solid 7.6. He felt like Evel Knievel at the top of a ramp.”

theme(s): revenge, injustice

300 short stories:: story 200

story: “Loulou; or, the Domestic Life of the Language”

author: Margaret Atwood

year: 1986

where: in the taxi, on the way to work

note: If I ever login to Facebook, I see these advertisements for Atwood’s online Masterclass and each time, it makes me want to read more of her fiction.

a line: “’Loulou thinks to reify means to make real,’ says Phil to everyone, when he’s hung up the phone. They’re always talking about her in the third person like that, telling each other what she thinks. The truth is that she’s never heard that word before in her life.”

300 short stories:: story 193-198

story: “New York Mining Disaster”, “Airplane: Or, How He Talked to Himself as If Reciting Poetry”, “A Perfect Day for Kangaroos”, “The Ice Man”, “The Rise and Fall of Sharpie Cakes”

author: Haruki Murakami

year: 2006 (from Blind Willow, Sleeping Willow)

where: everywhere!

note: a batch of stories (I’m behind on my chronicling)

a line: “’Even after I’d lost almost all sensation, I still knew this: The husband here at the South Pole is not the husband I used to know. I couldn’t say how he’d changed, exactly, for he still was always thoughtful, always had kind words for me.’”

300 short stories:: story 187

story: “Five Questions for the Snake Charmer”

author: C Pam Zhang

year: 2019

where: read on my phone

note: something short and not sweet

a line: “Pinned under that false gold, he’ll look as much the good Chinese boy as I am the bad Chinese girl, the kind who makes a public spectacle out of alcoholism as if she’s white and blonde and carefree and doesn’t drag a whole race’s reputation behind her.”