Recent Articles

February 24, 2008

Short stories and the cell phone: An Interview with writer Barry Yourgrau 1

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Although cell phone novels might at first appear to be a uniquely Japanese phenomenon, one of the form’s pioneers is a South African transplant to the U.S., writer Barry Yourgrau. Barry’s book “Keitai Stories,” a collection of short “flash” stories, was released for cell phones by a prominent Japanese publishing house, before making the transition […]

February 24, 2008

Books as Objects 0

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The cover of this past week’s New Yorker, “Shelf of Life” by Adrian Tomine, could be a visual entry in our “Books as Objects” column. An avid reader of the magazine (NOT our fearless editor and self-professed NYer junkie, Max) examined the cover art and observed that it carried a “cynical” message. It’s a panel […]

February 22, 2008

On Our Shelves: 45 Favorite Short Story Collections 19

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To wrap up Short Story Week here at The Millions, we conducted an informal poll of our contributors, asking them to name their favorite English-language short story collections. The results form a kind of subjective bibliography, a personal pantheon of 45 favorite collections. We’ve added links to our blurbs and reviews where appropriate. We hope […]

February 22, 2008

Short Story Week Links 0

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Did you read a short story today? He did. Samantha Hunt scribbles on bar napkins. Deborah Eisenberg not only writes great stories; she also gives a great interview. A Peter Markus story – free! – at failbetter.com. A Ben Fountain story – free! – at The Barcelona Review. Bookslut chats up Elizabeth Crane. Death is […]

February 22, 2008

Short Story Week: And May We Also Recommend 0

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Recommended Collections: The Coast of Chicago and I Sailed with Magellan by Stuart Dybek Dybek owns a specific part of the literary universe, a several square-block section of the south side of Chicago. He focuses on that, hones it, and reproduces it beautifully. His stories – sentimental (but not sappy), funny, and moving – describe […]

February 21, 2008

Anthologies Evolved 0

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When I was 16 or 17, it felt like Ernest Hemingway and Willa Cather were my own personal discoveries. I had read through all of Kurt Vonnegut, John Irving, and T.C. Boyle after discovering their books and then working steadily through their bodies of work until there was nothing left to read. (And it’s amazing […]

February 20, 2008

Short Story Week: Some Recommended Short Fiction 3

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“The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane (from Open Boat and Other Stories) This 1898 story, about the last survivors of a shipwreck as they fight for the safety of land on a soaked and cold dinghy, contains one of my favorite sentences in all of short fiction: “It was probably splendid, it was probably glorious, […]

February 20, 2008

Adventures in Consciousness: A Review of Deborah Eisenberg’s Under the 82nd Airborne 4

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In the fiction-writing course I took my junior year of college, a professor assigned a story by Deborah Eisenberg, a writer of whom I’d never heard. We’d been studying the art of dialogue, and I knew enough to admire the characters’ hesitations and evasions, but somehow the story didn’t quite ignite for me. This is […]

February 19, 2008

The Elusive Thread of Memory: The Displaced World of Mavis Gallant 3

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Jean-Paul Sartre visited Montreal in the 1940s for a speaking engagement. In marked contrast to the socially progressive nature of much of Quebec today, Quebec then cowed under the unyielding hand of the Church. Hostile to Sartre’s visit, the media barons instructed their reporters – perhaps tacitly, perhaps not – to be as unwelcoming as […]

February 19, 2008

Expat Laureate: Paul Bowles’s Too Far From Home 1

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The short story was but one of many writing genres embraced by author Paul Bowles, known also for his novels, travel essays and poems. The influential American writer drew the admiration of other literary giants such as Tobias Wolff and Norman Mailer, who said Bowles “let in the murder, the drugs, the incest, the death […]