Sunday, June 19, 2016

SHORT AND SOMETIMES SWEET



What do you think of when you think about short stories? Do you think about some of our most memorable pieces of literature like The Gift of the Magi, The Little Match Girl or The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County? Or do you think about how short stories are meant to be read in one sitting or that short stories are always fiction? If it has been a while since you have immersed yourself in a quick read now is the time to check out some of the newest short story collections on the shelves at the Monrovia Public Library.

Writer Lucia Berlin did not publish on a regular basis. She was brought low by addiction, working class wages and family difficulties and died in 2004 at the age of 68. Her selected stories were recently collected in A Manual for Cleaning Women, fictionalized autobiographical works that are poignant and biting.

The astonishingly prolific author Joyce Carol Oates has written a collection of horror stories The Doll-Maker. Called more psychologically disturbing than frightening these stories are engrossing and unusual. The title story is about a boy who is obsessed with the doll that was owned by his late cousin. He later finds and secretly keeps dolls.

Helen Ellis Sets a stereotype on its ear in American Housewife, a quirky and subversive look at the lives of wives. Her stories are hilarious and liberating and show women in all flavors.


Set in the Southwest where the author Kirstin Valdez Quade grew up Night at the Fiestas is a collection of stories about people looking for second chances. This debut book is authentic in its observations of people and the small towns from which they come.

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