300 short stories: story 299

story: “Blue”

author: David Brooks

year: 1985

where: kitchen, Big Gate napping

note: Brooks is a poet turned prose writer, though in 1989, he wrote about the breakdown of genre. This is one of his first short stories. Something about this story also reminds me of the night Obama won the election.

a line:  “How so many could have interpreted such diverse things in so similar a way I cannot tell.”

theme(s): Rain, community, drought, miracle

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300 short stories: story 295

story: “The Boy”

author: Joyce Carol Oates

year: 1988

where: the Ikea kitchen table

note: This story is one long sentence! No, wait, two sentences.

a line:  “I opened his pants and took hold of him but he was soft, breathing fast and shallow, was he afraid?…”

theme(s): Teacher student relationship, sex, desperation

300 short stories: story 244

story: “Eating Fish Alone”

author: Lydia Davis

year: 2014

where: Home, in bed

note: In The New Yorker, Davis’ eyes have been described as “blue milk glass”…and this sentence could almost constitute the length of an average story by Davis. In truth, I’ve read several dozen of her stories this week, but they are so short, it feels unconscionable to list them all here individually.

P.S. Thank you Isabella Simonetti for the book.

a line: “‘Most people don’t eat them,’ she said matter-of-factly. I thought of the waste, and the care with which the chef prepared, over and over again, the vegetables that no one ate.”

theme(s): Sustainability, consumption, solitude, eating out

300 short stories:: story 227

story: “Watchdog”

author: Nick Almeida

year: 2016

where:  客厅,大门 (di nuovo)

note: short short story from Baltimore Review

a line: “Later, she left for Montana with Neal—the man from the computer, Pap called him—and the dog went too.”

theme(s): Womanhood, strength, parenthood

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.”