In an effort to become a better-read writer, I am going to read and re-read 100 stories in 100 days. Join me?(!) Most of these are available for free online. My method of selection is…slipshod? It’s some combination of writers I’ve been intending to read, stories I’ve meant to read, selections from anthologies and journals that contain or have contained other stories I like, and recommendations from other writers. (DO YOU HAVE ONE?) Sometimes they’re stories I like and just haven’t read in a while.
First up, a classic inspired by my workshop today: A&P by John Updike.
And for tomorrow, George Saunders’s The Red Bow.
For Monday, Sea Oak, also by George Saunders.
For Tuesday, The Moon by Colin Barrett.
For Wednesday, A Lesson in Flight by Alex McElroy.
For Thursday, The Vane Sisters by Vladimir Nabokov.
For Friday, So Much to Burn by Ben Hoffman.
Let’s switch to numbers, shall we?
11. Night Bus by Ada Udechukwu.
12. My favorite, WG Sebald. The second chapter from The Emigrants (not online), and this.
13. DFW’s Brief Interviews With Hideous Men.
14. Michael X. Wang’s Further News of Defeat.
15. Karen Russell’s Sleep Donation (available as a kindle single).
16. Edward P. Jones’s A Rich Man.
17. Chris Offut’s Second Hand. (I loved this story so much; I could just read this on repeat for like the next three days.)
18. Lucky Chow Fun by Lauren Groff (from Delicate, Edible Birds). (Lauren Groff is everything.)
19. Vampires In the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell (from Vampires in the Lemon Grove).
20. Reeling for the Empire by Karen Russell
21. Nirvana by Adam Johnson.
22. Bad Year for Apples by CJ Hauser.
23. A story by a pretty kick-ass Dominican writer I met at Sewanee, Brenda Peynado: Strings. I stole a few of these stories from the recs on her website, like a true creeper.
24. A Country Doctor by Franz Kafka.
25. Additional Information That May Be Important by DJ Thielke.
26. Lull by Kelly Link.
27. Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin. This story honestly makes me want to give up writing or trying to do anything, ever. What is the point, you know? We already have Baldwin.
28. The Sea Latch by Cara Blue Adams (not available online).
29. Dark Air by Lincoln Michel.
30. The Ormolu Clock by Muriel Spark (available through the New Yorker Fiction podcast). (Listening to this story twice in the last week has reminded me of how much I luuuuurve Muriel Spark. Now I have to put her on my long, long novel reading list so I can revisit her work. Ugh.)
31. Sun City by Caitlin Horrocks, author of one of my favorite stories, Life Among the Terranauts.
32. Another Caitlin Horrocks story: Murder Games.
33. An Honest Exit by Dinaw Mengestu.
34. Tree Line, Kansas, 1934 by David Means (NYer fiction podcast).
35. The Love of a Good Woman by Alice Munro.
36. At Hiruharama by Penelope Fitzgerald (From the Guardian’s short fiction podcast, as are the next few entries.) (Penelope is the most underrated Fitzgerald.)
37. Umberto Butti by Giuseppe Pontiggia
38. A Conversation With My Father by Grace Paley
39. The Doll’s House by Katherine Mansfield
40. A story that I love, The Garden Party, also by Katherine Mansfield
41. A Respectable Woman by Kate Chopin
42. A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud. by Carson McCullers
43. Tiger Bites by Lucia Berlin
44. The Thief by Kirsten Bakis
45. Not a short story, but recommended reading from a Karen Russell interview: The Uncanny by Freud
46. A Love Match by Sylvia Townsend Warner
47. The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami
48. The Children’s Grandmother by Sylvia Townsend Warner (available through the NYer fiction podcast)
49. The Jockey by Carson McCullers (available through the NYer fiction podcast)
50. Count Poniatowski and the Beautiful Chicken by Elizabeth Ziemska
More updates as they occur to me…