If you have never read “Everything That Rises Must Converge,” stop what you’re doing, cancel your plans for the next hour, and read it. Here, I’ll even help you out with a link to an online copy. You’re so very welcome.
Flannery O’Connor may have written the greatest short story ever to be told when she penned this masterpiece. If it’s not the greatest, it’s still certainly within the top ten. The plot deals with a hateful and internally brooding son taking a bus ride with his racist mother to get her to an exercise class. What ensues along the way, and most prevalently, at the end of the bus ride, is unforgettable.
Simply put, this is a short story where everything is about appearances–literally and otherwise. Actions done out of spite quickly lose their merit as the lines blur between sincerity and self-involvement. The ending kills it. Now go read. I refuse to tell you anything more.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Wednesday, June 17th, 2015||No Comments »|
There’s a reason why nearly everyone has read The Great Gatsby and hardly anyone has read Tender Is the Night. “Winter Dreams“ is an obvious example of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s early attempts to perfect the idea of Gatsby. Its main characters—the self-made Dexter and Judy Jones who swims with a “sinuous crawl”—are a proto-Gatsby and Daisy, but I feel “Winter Dreams“ represents a different facet to the great promise of the “American dream.”
“He knew the sort of men they were–the men who when he first went to college had entered from the great prep schools with graceful clothes and the deep tan of healthy summers. He had seen that, in one sense, he was better than these men. He was newer and stronger. Yet in acknowledging to himself that he wished his children to be like them he was admitting that he was but the rough, strong stuff from which they eternally sprang.”
|Recommended by J. Harbinger||Thursday, April 30th, 2015||No Comments »|
Lorrie Moore is no newbie to the literary scene, having published a plethora of best-selling short story collections that include Birds of America, Self-Help, and A Gate at the Stairs. However, her latest collection, Bark, doesn’t seem to be getting its share of the spotlight, and it truly is a wonder as to why not.
A collection of eight short stories, Bark carries a variety of tones in its pages, ranging from classically comedic Lorrie Moore-isms to eerily haunting writing inhabited by characters that stay with you for days. There’s no shortage of symbolism in this collection, whether it be through a ghostly encounter of a deceased coworker, a mother and son who are much too affectionate with each other, or a rat king in the attic of a fizzled-out, young couple’s rented home.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Friday, April 10th, 2015||No Comments »|
In the wake of great Latin American authors like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Mario Vargas Llosa, a new generation of writers have emerged that has captured the attention of the public, albeit more sporadically than their predecessors. One of these writers is Isabel Allende, a Chilean woman whose most famous work, La Casa de los Espiritus (The House of the Spirits), brought her great praise, to the point of being compared to the aforementioned literary giants. But today’s recommendation will be about another well-received writing venture of hers: Cuentos de Eva Luna.
Published in 1989, the stories in Allende’s collection are encapsulated by the classic ‘framing’ technique of having character Eva Luna (who previously appeared in another novel) narrate the tales to her lover. The stories themselves are a joy to read, having a colorful cast of characters that could only belong in the world of Latin American magical realism. Allende sure borrows some of Garcia Marquez’s style, but all good artists know that nothing is ever original. You can tell her stories are unique and from a fresh perspective, and are a bit more in tune with the contemporary world.
|Recommended by Stefano Llinas||Monday, March 2nd, 2015||No Comments »|