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Summer Lovin'


I'm going to devote my summer to reading short stories exclusively. This urge came on when I stumbled upon a short story called "The Bee's" written by Dan Chaon found in the innocuous-looking book at the bottom of this pile, The Better of McSweeney's Volume One - Issues 1-10. The bony fingers of this story have crept into my flesh and stirred my creative juices, I hunger and long, now more than ever, for the art of the short story. So come on Nabokov, Salinger, Munro, Carver, Lahiri, Moore, McSweeny's and the Pushcart Prize people, show me whatcha got!


I received an urgent e-mail from my Dad this morning telling me I absolutely must read Sherman Alexie's new novel, Flight. "An exceptional example of American Indian Magical Realism, if there is such a thing," is how my Dad described it.


I must drop everything and devour this book before I embark upon my thorough study of the short story. The day is coming, dear readers, when I will unleash upon the literary world my own collection of short stories. This is the destiny I am creating.


Her name is Barsanuphia. They met at The Friend's of the Library Book Sale when they both reached for a copy of Kerouac's Dharma Bums. She adores Buddha's extreme optimism and he is quite smitten by her piety. On their first date they went to a Dairy Queen and split a Peanut Buster Parfait. Barsanuphia later puked a little (discreetly, in the restroom at the Circle K) because she's not used to such an indulgent diet. She had to end their date early due to a mild bout of diarrhea which had also been brought on by the excessive sugar and carcinogens in the parfait. She of course did not reveal the truth of her condition to the Buddha, but instead explained that she was worried about her cat, Volga, who had been suffering from a massive fur ball for three days now. Buddha, not dismayed, called her the following Tuesday and invited her over to his studio apartment for a dinner of braised tofu and veggies. She accepted! The meal was much easier on her stomach than the parfait had been and they later canoodled a bit on the couch while watching "Borat," which scared her a little (the movie, not the canoodling). It's early, but I think she might be the one!


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 5th, 2007 02:54 am (UTC)
In your study, I hope you get some Paul Bowles, some Barthleme, Bruno Schultz.
Jul. 5th, 2007 03:07 am (UTC)
Thanks for the tips. I'll look into these....
Jul. 5th, 2007 07:55 am (UTC)
Borat wasn't scary, just annoying.

At least the first 15 mins of it. That's all I watched.

Jul. 5th, 2007 01:40 pm (UTC)
Well, Barsanuphia watched the whole thing and it scared her!!
Jul. 5th, 2007 12:34 pm (UTC)
I have your Touchdown Buddha piece printed out and in a folder where I keep stuff I love. Just thought you should know.

Although I've tried and failed many times to love short stories and have even given myself permission to stop feeling mentally deficient, someone recently told me that I'll love Alice Munro's "The Bear Went Over the Mountain" which is in the book you have in your pile o'books. I'm hesitantly hopeful...
Jul. 5th, 2007 12:55 pm (UTC)
Oh, really? I haven't cracked that one open yet. I'll keep you posted.
Jul. 5th, 2007 06:10 pm (UTC)
Will do you book reviews when you're done? I'm looking for some entertaining books. I've just finished with The Complete Idiot's Guide to Training for a Triathlon, Full Frontal Feminism, The History of Nascar, and Perfect Daughters, Starving Girls. I've been on a triathlon/feminism/NASCAR kick lately. I'm surprised the information didn't curdle in my brain when added together.

Then I have a stack of Margaret Atwood books to read. I got them at the used book fair, and had heard great things about her. I also finally got my hands on Angela's Ashes and 'Tis, which I've been wanting to read since the LATE NINETEEN NINETIES.

So yeah, I'm open for short story suggestions, and may end up reading some of the short stories if you review them.

How long have you been writing short stories?
Jul. 6th, 2007 01:12 am (UTC)
Good heavens! I'm also surprised your brain hasn't curdled! I'll certainly try to post a few words about each collection of short stories I read. A couple of years ago I read a marvelous collection of short stories edited by David Sedaris called, Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules.

I just checked out your interests and you might enjoy David Sedaris' own writing. I about died laughing while reading his collection of stories and essays called, Barrel Fever. All his stuff is really great, actually---light and wicked funny!

Sadly, I have not yet read any Margaret Atwood, but she's on my list.

I've been writing short stories on and off since I was six.
Jul. 6th, 2007 01:14 am (UTC)
all that jazz
Well now,
Bruno Shultz is god. I'm reading some short stories by Barbara Kingsolver: "Homeland and Other Stories". The movie "Away from Her" is the screen play of THe Bear Went Over the Mountain", good film.
I look fgorward to your short stories; write quickly.
Jul. 6th, 2007 06:27 am (UTC)
Your blurb about Sherman Alexie sounded so energetic and urgent that I just ordered a copy for myself.
Jul. 6th, 2007 01:42 pm (UTC)
Have you read any of his work?
Jul. 7th, 2007 03:09 am (UTC)
My heroes in your stack
As a superfan of the refined short story, I applaud your choices. Carver embeds in every story his knack for highlighting our human inclinations to judge too quickly and Nabokov is a raw pleasure.

If you get through your stack still hungry for more, I suggest John Cheever, too.

Jul. 7th, 2007 04:51 am (UTC)
Re: My heroes in your stack
Thanks for the suggestion!
Jul. 18th, 2007 06:26 pm (UTC)
Your freaking side-split funny.
and I miss the snot out of you.
Still reading 'Sun'?
Jul. 19th, 2007 01:35 am (UTC)
Aw, I miss you too, girl. I'm still reading The Sun. Hope to never stop.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )