Monday, January 23, 2012

You've Got to Read This

You've Got to Read This: Contemporary American Writers Introduce Stories that Held Them in AweYou've Got to Read This: Contemporary American Writers Introduce Stories that Held Them in Awe by Ron Hansen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've been reading this throughout the past month with my reading buddy Mikki in GoodReads.  It is SO HARD to talk about this anthology. For the most part, these stories were fantastic, some because of the visuals and beautiful writing, some because of the completely disturbing twists or ends, some because of the well-written raw characters.

My absolutely favorite story has to be "Reflection" by Angela Carter. The concept of a mirrored world with a knitter in between, constantly joining the opposite parts to keep the universe running smoothly - genius. The language is what elevates it - "the odor of her violence," "vegetable slowness," and my favorite - "the proud, sad air of the king of a rainy country." I can't wait to dig into the volume I have at home with her collected stories.

My favorite line comes from Labor Day Dinner, by Alice Munro.
"I think maybe we're destroyed already,' Ruth says dreamily."

Other favorite stories - "Girl" by Jamaica Kincaid, "The Star Cafe" by Mary Caponegro (a bizarre story for sure but very thought-provoking), and "Goodbye My Brother" by John Cheever because I became so emotionally invested in it, I woke up angry the next day.   It isn't often I'll have such a strong reaction to a story.


  1. Jenny, this looks like a great compilation of short stories. I find it ironic that it is composed of short stories but yet so long.

  2. Definitely not a volume you would want to sit down and read in one sitting, but worth savoring one at a time!

  3. Oh, I envy the person who gets to sit down with this for their first time!


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