Short story reading list

The number of papers piled on — okay, scattered haphazardly around — my desk has increased tenfold in the last day or two. Until I get things under control, I’ll leave you guys with my current short story reading list (and offer a quick, arbitrary rationale for each selection):

  • Greg Ames’ Playing Ping Pong With Pontius Pilate, appeared some time ago in The Sun, and is listed in the back pages of The Best American Nonrequired Reading of 2004. (I’ve only read two of Ames’ short stories — one in Literal Latte, one in Open City, but both were funny, moving, memorable — and arguably flawless.)
  • Tom Bissell’s God Lives in St. Petersburg, a short story collection focused on two journalists in wartime Afghanistan, appears later this month. (Bissell is one of the few Believer writers whose articles I enjoy reading. The collection’s first review — which I can’t seem to find now — likened his writing to my ex-boyfriend* Graham Greene’s.)
  • Stephany Aulenback’s “Apparition,” in the latest print issue of Hobart, arrived in my mailbox late last week. (Steph is a friend, former Friday guest blogger, and astounding writer. I read everything she writes.)
  • The current New Yorker includes “The Juniper Tree,” a new Lorrie Moore story. (Regular readers of this site know Moore’s more recent stories have disappointed me, but as a longtime disciple I still read her work; New Yorker link via Tingle Alley.)
  • Jess Row‘s “The Train to Lo Wu” appears in the latest issue of Ploughshares. His short story collection by the same name appears later this month. (Jess is a longtime email correspondent, with work included in two Best American Short Stories anthologies, but I’ve yet to read his fiction.)

Tangentially related: Last week I posted an interview with Open City founder and editor Thomas Beller (co-editor Joanna Yaz was traveling) about the prospects for new writers there. Similar interviews with editors of other literary magazines I admire are in the can. I’ll post them as soon as I get my shit together (i.e., write some introductions).

* With apologies to Twinkle Twinkle Blah Blah Blah Etc.


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