300 short stories:: story 170

story: “Time for the Eyes to Adjust”

author: Linn Ullmann

year: 2018

where: New York City 

note: some of this story reminds me of Picasso’s personal life (though I hear there are clues in this story that the story leans more autobiographical towards the writer’s parents)

a line: “The father used to say that for his seventieth birthday he would invite all the wives, too, and the mothers and the women who were neither wives nor mothers, but who had nevertheless played a part one way or another. What do you call them?”

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300 short stories:: story 160

story: Flaubert Again 

author: Anne Carson

year: 2018

where:  Ville de Paris

note: what a tour de force…is this a future of the short short story or something else?

a line: “While they were there, she’d renounced writing. Instead, she made sketches in a sketchbook and titled it “The Glass of Water,” as if that were what everyone was looking for, a glass of water in Greece, not a different kind of novel or some not-stupid sentences.”

300 short stories:: story 157

story: The Coast of Leitrim

author: Kevin Barry

year: 2018

where:  work, early morning

note: technology are modern-day courting, and technology while alone

a line: “In an empty bar in what appeared to be the center of the city, he drank a glass of red wine and tapped into his phone the Wi-Fi code. He went to the first place he always went—her Instagram account.”

300 short stories:: story 154

story: Poor Girl 

author: Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

year: 2018

where:  desk, work work

note: surprises at every turn! (translated)

a line: “Not only did she keep the house and work, she also looked after her mother-in-law, a former language-arts teacher, who was crazy about the theatre and literary readings, enjoyed the courtship of elderly military officers, and regularly came home “under guard.” Laughter, late-night dinners—the father would bathe the girl and read her a bedtime story before coming to the table.”

300 short stories:: story 153

story: Cecilia Awakened 

author: Tessa Hadley

year: 2018

where:  il mio ufficio

note:

a line: “Her mother, Cecilia’s grandmother, who was elegant and drank and had lovers, had remonstrated when Angela was younger: if only she’d move more gracefully, less jerkily, if only she’d try contact lenses and wear dresses instead of shirts and slacks. Angela had advanced unhappily toward middle age, when such pressures would surely come to an end. And then before she was forty, when she was on her third book—her second had been a minor hit—and just around the time that she met Ken, her mother died, and so never knew that her awkward daughter had succeeded in hooking a man after all. Weeping angry tears, Angela allowed herself this bitterness when the funeral was over, mocking herself and her mother—but only when she was alone, in her most private thoughts.”

300 short stories:: story 144

story: Hand on the Shoulder

author: Ian McEwan

year: 2012

where: office, NYU

note: Interesting to stumble upon this just after finishing Warlight 

a line: “Then came the scene, in Suffolk or in London, and her ultimatum: get rid of the girl or march. Tony had made the obvious decision. But here’s the point. He had made another choice, too. He had chosen to cast himself as the victim, the wronged, the deceived, the rightly furious.”