Over at the Goodreads Group I’ve posted the most important information about Mookse Madness 2018: the brackets and schedule! I wanted to do the same here, in case some of you who are interested haven’t made it over that way yet.

Click here to see the bracket, which includes all match-up and calendar information in graphic form. I will be updating this as the tournament proceeds.

Mookse Madness Groups

These were organized by a strict system. To get the groups I organized the stories by author’s first name and then went down the list — 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. Once the groups were created, I seeded them by author’s birth year. The oldest author on our list? Balzac, who, born in 1799, is our only pre-1800s author. The youngest? Maile Meloy, born in 1972.

Bracket 1: The Nutshell

1. Saki: “The Open Window”
2. Katherine Mansfield: “The Fly”
3. Jean Rhys: “La Grosse Fifi”
4. Vladimir Nabokov: “Signs and Symbols”
5. Elizabeth Bowen: “The Demon Lover”
6. Frank O’Connor: “Michael’s Wife”
7. Julio Cortázar: “The Island at Noon”
8. John McGahern: “The Beginning of an Idea”
9. Annie Proulx: “Them Old Cowboy Songs”
10. Tim O’Brien: “The Things They Carried”
11. Ian McEwan: “Dead as They Come”
12. Amy Bloom: “The Story”
13. Alice Eliot Dark: “In the Gloaming”
14. Louise Erdrich: “Sister Godzilla”
15. Neil Gaiman: “Shoggoth’s Old Peculiar”
16. Claire Keegan: “Foster”

Bracket 2: The Breviloquent

1. Honoré de Balzac: “A Passion in the Desert”
2. Willa Cather: “Paul’s Case”
3. Sherwood Anderson: “Death in the Woods”
4. Franz Kafka: “In the Penal Colony”
5. Jorge Luis Borges: “The Lottery of Babylon”
6. Elizabeth Taylor: “A Dedicated Man”
7. Isaac Asimov: “Nightfall”
8. Kurt Vonnegut: “Harrison Bergeron”
9. Alice Munro: “The Bear Came Over the Mountain”
10. Andre Dubus: “A Father’s Story”
11. Deborah Eisenberg: “Mermaids”
12. Tobias Wolf: “In the Garden of the North American Martyrs”
13. Roald Dahl: “A Man from the South”
14. George Saunders: “The Semplica-Girl Diaries”
15. Jhumpa Lahiri: “A Temporary Matter”
16. Maile Meloy: “Travis, B.”

Bracket 3: The Petite

1. Edgar Allan Poe: “The Tell-Tale Heart”
2. Kate Chopin: “A Pair of Silk Stockings”
3. Guy de Maupassant: “The Necklace”
4. Isaac Babel: “The Story of My Dovecoat”
5. William Faulkner: “A Rose for Emily”
6. Eudora Whelty: “Death of a Travelling Salesman”
7. Robert Aickman: “The Inner Room”
8. Leonora Carrington: “The Debutante”
9. Truman Capote: “A Tree of Night”
10. Alistair MacLeod: “The Boat”
11. Margaret Atwood: “Rape Fantasies”
12. Bharati Mukherjee: “The Management of Grief”
13. Stephen Millhauser: “Eisenheim the Illusionist”
14. Joy Williams: “The Skater”
15. Andrea Barrett: “Servants of the Map”
16. Jill McCorkle: “Intervention”

Bracket 4: The Laconic

1. Ambrose Bierce: “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”
2. Charlotte Perkins Gilman: “The Yellow Wallpaper”
3. Jack London: “To Build a Fire”
4. Katherine Anne Porter: “The Grave”
5. H.P. Lovecraft: “The Call of Cthulhu”
6. Tillie Olsen: “I Stand Here Ironing”
7. Mavis Gallant: “Dede”
8. Flannery O’Connor: “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”
9. William Trevor: “The Piano Tuner’s Wives”
10. Ursula K. LeGuin: “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”
11. Edna O’Brien: “Sister Imelda”
12. John Gardner: “Redemption”
13. Joyce Carol Oates: “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been”
14. Angela Carter: “The Bloody Chamber”
15. Roberto Bolaño: “Gomez Palacio”
16. Lorrie Moore: “People Like That Are the Only People Here”

Mookse Madness 2018 Calendar

The following is our calendar of events. Last year the matches were open for three days (four at the beginning!), and I felt that was too long; consequently, this year each match will be for two days only! The first round is going to be busy and messy. We have to get through 32 matches as quickly as possible, with four opening each day for over a week. That’s why we call this madness! Things will slow down — a bit — after that. For the schedule of each and every match, see the full bracket linked to above.

Round 1: 64 Books
Feb. 26: 1. The Open Window v. 16. Foster
Feb. 26: 8. Harrison Bergeron v. 9. The Bear Came Over the Mountain
Feb. 26: 4. The Story of My Dovecoat v. 13. Eisenheim the Illusionist
Feb. 26: 6. I Stand Here Ironing v. 11. Sister Imelda

Feb. 27: 7. The Island at Noon v. 10. The Things They Carried
Feb. 27: 7. Nightfall v. 10. A Father’s Story
Feb. 27: 3. The Necklace v. 14. The Skater
Feb. 27: 8. A Good Man Is Hard to Find v. 9. The Piano Tuner’s Wives

Feb. 28: 6. Michael’s Wife v. 11. Dead as They Come
Feb. 28: 5. The Lottery of Babylon v. 12. In the Garden of the North American Martyrs
Feb. 28: 1. The Tell-Tale Heart v. 16. Intervention
Feb. 28: 2. The Yellow Wallpaper v. 15. Gomez Palacio

Mar. 1: 5. The Demon Lover v. 12. The Story
Mar. 1: 3. Death in the Woods v. 14. The Semplica-Girl Diaries
Mar. 1: 5. A Rose for Emily v. 12. The Management of Grief
Mar. 1: 5. The Call of Cthulhu v. 12. Redemption

Mar. 2: 3. La Grosse Fifi v. 14. Sister Godzilla
Mar. 2: 2. Paul’s Case v. 15. A Temporary Matter
Mar. 2: 7. The Inner Room v. 10. The Boat
Mar. 2: 3. To Build a Fire v. 14. The Bloody Chamber

Mar. 3: 8. The Beginning of an Idea v. 9. Them Old Cowboy Songs
Mar. 3: 6. A Dedicated Man v. 11. Mermaids
Mar. 3: 2. A Pair of Silk Stockings v. 15. Servants of the Map
Mar. 3: 7. Dede v. 10. The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Mar. 4: 2. The Fly v. 15. Shoggoth’s Old Peculiar
Mar. 4: 4. In the Penal Colony v. 13. A Man from the South
Mar. 4: 6. Death of a Travelling Salesman v. 11. Rape Fantasies
Mar. 4: 4. The Grave v. 13. Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been

Mar. 5: 4. Signs and Symbols v. 13. In the Gloaming
Mar. 5: 1. A Passion in the Desert v. 16. Travis, B.
Mar. 5: 8. The Debutante v. 9. A Tree of Night
Mar. 5: 1. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge v. 16. People Like That Are the Only People Here

Round 2: 32 Stories. Matches begin on March 8
Round 3: 16 Stories. Matches begin on March 18
Round 4: 8 Stories. Matches begin on March 24
Round 5: 4 Stories. Matches begin on March 30
Round 6: The Finals, The Championship Match: April 3


For me, the toughest matches are in The Laconic group. And two of my all-time favorite stories — “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” and “The Piano Tuner’s Wives” — are fighting in the first round! That’s just awful! It’s what we sign up for, though, I suppose, when we do something this silly. Please join in!

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By | 2018-02-21T16:44:36+00:00 February 21st, 2018|Categories: News|4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. buriedinprint February 23, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    Oh, my: I missed this but it looks like loads of fun. And you’ve done this before? It must be a load of work. I’m going to see if I can get through a chunk of reading this weekend, to see if I can squeeze these stories in before the event starts in full.

  2. johnnyhenry June 21, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    What happened to the short story competition Mookse Madness Finals selection in April? Were the winners announced?

  3. Trevor Berrett June 21, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Ah, I hadn’t even thought of announcing the winner here, but that should definitely have happened, johnnyhenry! The final match-up was:

    La Grosse Fifi v. The Piano Tuner’s Wives

    And, I am pleased still by this, the winner was The Piano Tuner’s Wives!

    I’ll do better next year of keeping readers here up-to-date on this stuff! We haven’t yet decided what next year’s Mookse Madness will be, but if you want to participate in it please come see us at GoodReads!

    (or maybe I can find a way to integrate it here as well . . . I will see)

  4. johnny henry June 21, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    Oh I see, great. I didn’t realize it was on Goodreads. I would like to participate in the next version. Thanks so much Trevor for the update.

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