Short Story Sunday, 5.18.14: the non-speculative edition

I consumed two short story collections in the past couple of days.

1) American Innovations by Rivka Galchen. It’s a fun one. First of all, the cover:

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Makes me go ‘what the hell is going on here’ every time I see it.

Second, the stories themselves. They are quirky, smart, and weird. They are not really genre, but they are something genre-readers would enjoy, I think. In one of them, for example, a man asks the narrator to kill him to demonstrate a time travel paradox. As always with collections, there were a couple of stories that fell flat, but overall it was very good.

2) The second collection was not just good, it was brilliant. Oh Lydia Davis, how I love you. Actually, what I love are your really short stories (three sentences short, one paragraph short) and your really long ones (well, by ‘really long’, I mean 10 pages).

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Davis’s stories really remind me of Chekhov’s stories. It’s the brevity, I think, but there is also something Old World-like in her descriptions and observations, something that makes me very nostalgic.

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