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Flash Fiction: 72 Very Short Stories Paperback – July 17, 1992
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From Publishers Weekly
In this collection of 72 previously published stories--none longer than 750 words--Raymond Carver, Luisa Valenzuela, Margaret Atwood and John Updike mingle with talented lesser knowns to form a marvelously varied bouquet. Bruce Holland Rogers describes a man who pours his unrequited love into a poem comparing his beloved's thunderously exhilarating effect on him to ``the Burlington Northern southbound out of Fort Collins.'' In Julia Alvarez's tale, set during the Cuban missile crisis, a young immigrant girl panics when she spots deadly fallout--until she learns it is snow, each flake unique, like a person. A man looking at an old photo of his parents sees not the second of promise captured on paper but the tragic consequences 20 years in the future, in Paul Lisicky's work. And Allan Gurganus's narrator shows that ``despite persistent rumors to the contrary, my grandfather did not die driving a Toyota across his pond'' in an attempt to prove the excellence of this car, for which he had conceived a bizarre passion. Savor this collection one minute at a time. James Thomas and Denise Thomas edit The Best of the West series; Hazuka is fiction editor of Quarterly West .
Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“In just a little more time than it will take you to read this paragraph you can sample any one of the seventy-two very short stories in this anthology of brilliant miniatures. Some of the selections have already become so-called 'modern classics,' while many others deserve to become much more widely known. You can space out your reading of these epiphanic delicacies over a week or even months. Dear Browswer, I have to confess, I gobbled them up in a day!”
- Alan Cheuse, National Public Radio
“Flash Fiction is fun. I loved the variety and surprise of these stories. They should spark great dinner conversation, class discussion, and perhaps inspire some marathon writers to sprint and see what happens.”
- Jerome Stern, author of Making Shapely Fiction
“Flash Fiction is purely and simply a delight. Lots of stars are mustered here, but best of all for my money are the newer names and voices that speak well to and for the future.”
- George Garrett, Henry Hoyns Professor of Creative Writing, University of Virginia
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There are now more and more such short-cut literature. Of course, from different authors, some exceed and some fall short; that is short
but bit as engaging as other mini-stories. Good for one-more read before bedtime, or waiting in your dentist's office.
There are also classic short stories which are mid-way between novellas and these new shorties. Actually, I prefer them. Saki for one
The Complete Saki (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin). A dozen or two more words and the stories flesh out, become
more engaging. But these are more contemporary authors from our computer age; like, LOL-thinking more than the more literate
Another collection of these stubby but good (maybe better, depending on your taste) nibbles, which I prefer is SUDDEN FICTION INTERNATIONAL
Sudden Fiction International: 60 Short Stories. They seem loaded more with famous writers, like Ernest Hemingway, Updike
and suchlike celebs.
Take a nibble, they're nice. Enough.
The Corporal by Carolyn Forche, I first read as a prose poem. This story speaks strongly to the mentality behind repressive governments - a theme strong in much of Forche's work.
Girl by Jamaica Kincaid is a story that shows the creativity of Kincaid (best illustrated by At the Bottom of the River) that speaks in an unusual way to the relationship between a girl and her mother ... and her mother's expectations.
Bread by Margaret Atwood may not exactly be a narrative but again it is a strong piece regarding social justice in a variety of forms.
Subtotals by Gregory Burnham is an interesting evaluation of life by enumeration - a clever idea well executed that left me less than satisfied.
The Haircut by Mary Morris is a story in which non-verbal communication in an intimate relationship is well used; still I found the story only interesting.
Spencer Holst's Brilliant Silence is a brilliant story of dancing bears deserted by their owner but still dancing.
Richard Shelton's The Stones is another brilliant story built on a premise of stones having life of a sort.
Adrienne Clasky's From the Floodlands explores a setting so wet that one can drown in the air, that the sky and the sea merge as the horozin fails to delinate the line between them.
Other tales may catch your attention; there is sufficient variety that nearly everyone should fine some stories to their liking.