Friday, May 17, 2013

Reading Short

By Susan

Like most writers, I'm also a reader. Over the past six months, I've tackled several new short story collections that I can't help but pass on.

Here's a list of some of the compilations I've read so far this year.

The Tenth of December, By George Saunders
I cannot praise this compilation enough. Beyond his innovative style, incredible devotion to point of view, and his boundless imagination, George Saunders is a genuinely friendly, normal, and totally cool guy (I met him at his Dallas book signing last month and was impressed with his kindness.) Allow yourself the pleasure of reading all of the stories in this book. Once you understand Saunders, you can't help but love him. He's a writer's writer, and I can't speak highly enough about the perfection of his work.

Dear Life, by Alice Munro
She's simply fascinating. The 81 year old writer is a powerhouse when it comes to the short. I wish I could explain how she does it, but somehow each short story encapsulates a world that feels simple and familiar yet also incredibly complex. If you can only read one short story from this collection, I'd recommend "Corrie."

Nothing Gold Can Stay, by Ron Rash
If you don't know of Ron Rash's work, you will soon. He's the kind of writer I'd only dream to one day become-- a prolific poet, short story writer, and novelist, with five published novels, five published short story collections and four volumes of poetry to his credit. This September, the movie version of his novel Serena will be released with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in the lead roles. His latest short story collection feels so real and raw it's as if you've met these characters before. This entire collection will break your heart. He's got a great gift for ending each story with a turn the reader doesn't expect, yet appears so effortless you wonder how you didn't see it coming.

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