What to do with du Maurier?

What to do with du Maurier?

I’ve mentioned the wtfuckery that abounds in Daphne du Maurier’s collection of “lost” short stories, The Doll. I’m only halfway-ish through the book—that’s six stories down—and each one of those stories has a half-baked feel I can’t shake off, and majority simply has me scratching my poor head. That is: None of these is the du Maurier short fiction I’ve come to know. Though her always-to-die-for prose is present, all of the stories—with the [begrudging] exception of the title story—simply feels like du Maurier had an idea, picked up some loose leaf, and ran with it. If I were a snide little gremlin, I’d say something like: Oh, is it a wonder these stories were lost? [Currently reading.]

01142013: A book pile to cleanse the palate

01142013: A book pile to cleanse the palate

I picked up The Drawing of the Three, the second book in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, because I wanted something hefty that would take me away from the bad juju flying around today. And so when Ronald wakes up at the beach (where The Gunslinger, first book, ended) and starts being eaten by the scariest, most ridiculous demon lobster in literary history—the man gets two fingers and a toe eaten, for fuck’s sake—I was thankful for someone to sympathize with, someone who made me think, “Well, he’s more fucked than you are, girl.” See, after being all, “I see serious problems ahead,” at page twenty, Ronald goes, “I jerk off left-handed, at least that’s something.” Yeah, let the Gunslinger remind you look for the bright side, Sasha. [Continue reading.]


Anyone who’s trolled this blog long enough will notice that, as much as possible, I’d rather not let the real world and its pesky issues in. [A rare exception goes down Semi-Blathering Ranty Avenue, as was the case when I tried to comment on supposed “moral responsibilities” to furthering a gender’s and a nation’s literature—bullshit, [...]

On “A Year of Grace,” short story from Nights in the Gardens of Brooklyn by Harvey Swados

Does every reader have the compulsion to seek out authors on the hopes that you’ll find traces of your long-favorite authors in their work? Say, you’ll swear by Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates, by the short fiction of Raymond Carver, of Elizabeth Hardwick—that you’ll willingly flirt with F. Scott Fitzgerald, with Anne Tyler, or the [...]

Stuck, with Ali Smith

For Short Story Month 2010, I read Ali Smith’s collection, The Whole Story and Other Stories. I thought it was okay. I thought it was an uneven collection, mis-stepping several times yet quite lovely, with “fluid language that still manages to escape artsy-fartsy convolutedness.” I especially liked how that collection was dedicated to books and [...]

Standing Witness

I’ve read much of Amy Bloom and consider her one of the most skilled and personally affecting contemporary short story writers I have ever encountered—but reading her latest collection, Where the God of Love Hangs Out, was still a surprise. That is, I was jarred by how good she was. Why have I forgotten? Why [...]