300 short stories: story 262

story: “Blame”

author: Aimee Bender

year: 2019

where: California Zephyr Train

note: From the last issue of Tin House

a line: “Buy more, said the lady. Rich lady. Come back to Yum-Yum. Eat yum-yum. Clog your arteries. Enjoy life.”

theme(s): Miscarriage, class, wealth, blame

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300 short stories: story 250

story: “Kiss Me Someone”

author: Karen Shepard

year: 2017

where: Dubai

note: The title story.

a line: “Of all her exes, and the number is legion, this one was the most extreme in all regards.”

theme(s): Fidelity, compassion, aimlessness, marriage

300 short stories: story 240

story: “House of Women”

author: Susan Minot

year: 1991

where: the gold sofa

note: This story was brilliant not only for its evocative descriptions of coastal nature, but also because of its blatant realism about how women talking together can manage to “resurrect” our ex-boyfriends, lovers, and husbands.

a line: “By the time the thunder had grown faint the lawn was crowded with them, scores of them, patiently gathered in front of our house.”

theme(s): Women, friendship, recovery, memory, men and women, relationships

300 short stories:: story 226

story: “Mercedes Kane”

author: Elizabeth McCracken

year: 1994

where:  客厅,大门

note: Always on the search for more stories about mothers and daughters.

a line: “She was sure she would’ve been great in her twenties, thirties, forever, if she had just been encouraged to greatness early on.”

theme(s): Mothers and daughters, genius, child prodigy, parenthood

300 short stories:: story 221

story: “Foil”

author: Anne de Marcken

year: 2018

where: “Due-bay”

note: This is the 2018 winning short story of Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest.

a line: “The man sitting next to me glances at my ring and says nothing for twenty-two hours. The ring fools me too, and I enjoy a feeling of privileged contentment. One who belongs to another is more than one.’”

theme(s): Mothers and daughters, Travel, Identity