Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Masters of the Short Story

I mentioned yesterday that I always like to read some masterful short story writers while I’m at a colony. Here’s a list of other story writers I explored in past residencies:

--Flannery O’Connor
--Katherine Anne Porter
--James Joyce, The Dubliners
--Richard Ford

And I was reading my copy of the newest issue of Poets & Writers and liked that in the interview with Mary Gaitskill, they asked her for a list of five short stories she recommended to writers. Here’s my list, off the top of my head, limited by the fact that I’m not surrounded by my books and am probably forgetting something very obvious (no particular order, and I’m not stopping at just five):

“A Perfect Day for Bananafish” by J.D. Salinger
“In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried” by Amy Hempel
“Pet Milk” by Stuart Dybek
“People Like That Are the Only People Here” by Lorrie Moore
“Reunion” by John Cheever
“Pale Horse, Pale Rider” by Katherine Anne Porter
“Strays” by Mark Richard
“A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor

(Speaking of Flannery O’Connor, be sure to check out the review of the new biography about her in Sunday’s New York Times Book Review: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/01/books/review/Williams-t.html
I promise you’ll laugh out loud—and feel humbled and awed.)


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.