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Larry Watson: Montana 1948

It has been over a decade since I moved away from the small town where I was raised.  My parents, both raised in the same town by parents who were also raised in the same town, moved away just last week.  They didn’t move far, but still there is something about their…

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Nell Freudenberger: “An Arranged Marriage”

Click here to read the story in its entirety on The New Yorker webpage. Nell Freudenberger’s “An Arranged Marriage” was originally published in the September 6, 2010 issue of The New Yorker. Nell Freudenberger won the PEN/Malamud Award the year after Maile Meloy. Meloy has become one of my favorite short…

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Damon Galgut: In a Strange Room

When the Booker longlist was announced last month, I quickly raced online to see what books were available in the United States.  A handful were, a few more were almost to be published.  One was available only on from the Kindle store as an ebook: Damon Galgut’s In a Strange Room (2010).  I’ve tried…

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Yiyun Li: “The Science of Flight”

Click here to read the story in its entirety on The New Yorker webpage. Yiyun Li’s “The Science of Flight” was originally published in the August 30, 2010 issue of The New Yorker. I’m afraid I don’t have much to say about this story.  My experience with other Yiyun Li…

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Tom McCarthy: C

I have been looking forward to reading C (2010) since I first heard the premise: a modernist-style tale that takes place in the early twentieth-century following a young Englishman, who is enchanted by technology — particularly communications technology, like radio — as he comes of age, goes to war, survives, travels Europe and heads…

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Sarah Waters: The Little Stranger

I know, I’m a year behind here.  The Little Stranger(2009) was longlisted and shortlisted for last year’s Booker prize.  You may recall, I wasn’t much in the Booker mood in 2009 in large part because of the miserable experience that was Booker 2008.  I was attracted to some of the…

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Maile Meloy: Half in Love

Not too long ago, you’ll remember, I was positively gushing about Maile Meloy’s most recent collection of short stories, Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It.  As it so happens, my gushing was genuine.  I wasted no time acquiring the rest of her backlist, which includes two novels…

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Daniel Alarcón: “Second Lives”

Click here to read the story in its entirety on The New Yorker webpage. Daniel Alarcón’s “Second Lives” was originally published in the August 16 & 23, 2010 issue of The New Yorker. Once again, the “20 Under 40″ fiction selection introduces me to a great story from an author…

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Ah Cheng: The King of Trees

I have next to no knowledge of Chinese literature.  My knowledge of Chinese history, even fairly recent history, is negligible.  So I approached The King of Trees(1984, 1985; tr. from the Chinese by Bonnie S. McDougall, 1990, 2010) with some real trepidation.  Surely the cultural references would zip by my…

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William Trevor: Cheating at Canasta

I have always wanted to like William Trevor’s stories more than I actually like them.  After all, Trevor is venerated as one of the greatest short story writers of all time — or perhaps I want to like him more because of the charming, wise smile on his now 82-year-old face; he just looks like…

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David Bezmozgis: “The Train of Their Departure”

Click here to read the story in its entirety on The New Yorker webpage. David Bezmozgis’s “The Train of Their Departure” was originally published in the August 9, 2010 issue of The New Yorker. I’m finally catching up!  And what a delight to finally get to this story. In the…