From Assimilation, the story of Mary Lynn, a Coeur d’Alene Indian married to a white man, to One Good Man, the story of a good son trying to save the life his diabetic father, Sherman Alexie tells the stories of American Indians of all types. Whether they are trying to do the impossible or simply trying to make it through the day, they speak to us.
I prefer novels, but can’t resist these little gems of short stories by a master storyteller.
I love Alice Hoffman, whether she is writing novels or short stories. Blackbird House is a collection of short stories, all linked by their connection to Blackbird House in Massachusetts over 200 years. The stories take you away to a different time and place, always with Hoffman’s easy familiarity with human nature.
I confess I don’t like short stories very much. I prefer long novels I can get lost in for days or weeks. Sherman Alexie is one exception. His short stories are so insightful, funny, or sad, that they contain worlds. This collection is no exception. From the political lawyer who yearns for his glory days as a basketball player to the broke, homeless wanderer who sees his grandmother’s dance regalia in a pawnshop, these stories take you far away into a world you can get lost in.
I’ve been reading and re-reading Jane Eyre since high school, 50+ years ago, so my eye was caught by the title of this book. In it are 21 short stories by women inspired by Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel. Sometimes the connection is very tenuous, almost indecipherable, sometimes overt, as in the short story Grace Pool Her Testimony. My favorite was The Self-Seeding Sycamore by Lionel Shriver. It doesn’t have a close connection to Jane Eyre, but Shriver’s writing is so delicious. it enjoyable on its own. It’s the only story I flipped back to find out who had written it, and I was please to find the name of one of my favorite authors.