300 short stories:: story 234

story: “Aquacero”

author: Patricia Engel

year: 2019

where: Dubai at Big Gate’s, then at home

note: This story was selected for the 2019 O. Henry Prize collection (first appeared in the Kenyon Review).

a line: “’Survival requires different things of different people.’ I don’t know where in me this came from. It was something I hadn’t even begun to understand for myself.”

theme(s): survival; abduction; abuse; disappearing

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300 short stories:: story 206

story: “Dramas”

author: Edna O’Brien

year: 1989

where: mio ufficio

note: from the Paris Review

a line: “When the new shopkeeper arrived in the village he aroused great curiosity along with some scorn. He was deemed refined because his fingernails looked as if they had been varnished a tinted ivory. “

300 short stories:: story 199

story: “Ulrikke”

author: Jorge Luis Borges

year: 1975

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.”

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.”