Short Story Month 2011

A Public Service Announcement. Sort of. This is my third year celebrating [yes, celebrating] Short Story Month, organized by Dan Wickett of Emerging Writers Network. I am as excited as ever, not to mention eager to put some long-currently-reading books to rest. [A majority of the short story collections to be featured this May have [...]

Hello, from the Glittery Land of Lazy Bloggers

I hereby drag myself out of the muck of the Glittery Land of Lazy Bloggers to publish this post. Although I love this space—after more than a year, still trying to figure out how to wiggle around here, actually—I do hate feeling like blogging is a job, egads and when the thought of attempting to [...]

On The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes — “the last court of appeal” — by Arthur Conan Doyle

Aherm. Previously, in Sasha’s Escapades with Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, MD -- Baker Street, the canon, and all that sleuthing jazz: ♦ A Study in Scarlet. My first Sherlock Holmes, the first book, which “beat my preconceptions to a pulp.” Just so giddy to be part of ~Holmesiana. ♦ Sherlock Holmes Selected Stories. Which [...]

The Beheaded Sixty-two

The conceit of Severance, a short story collection by Robert Olen Butler, lies in the fusion of two seemingly unrelated quotes [nearly a century apart]: [01] “After careful study and due deliberation it is my opinion the head remains conscious for one minute and a half after decapitation.” – Dr. Dassy D’Estaing, 1883; and [02] [...]

Alice Munro, Too Much Happiness, “the emotional housekeeping of the world,” and simple goodness

I’ve known this for a long time, and it always give me a thrill having it reaffirmed time and time again: Alice Munro is one of the best short story writers ever. Her latest collection, Too Much Happiness, was stunning—with complex characters and grand narratives and fluid prose, the stories pretty much pitch-perfect. I read [...]

“There are things in that paper that nobody knows but me, or ever will.”

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I talk about my experiences with the classics—how I share them with y’all. And I’ve realized—I’ll flesh this out more fully later—that with the classics, I’m more reactionary in my posts, when I’ve always tried to be a balance of visceral response and critique. Well. The following [...]

The decadence of Edmund Wilson’s Memoirs of Hecate County—moral decay! the naked and the adorned! glorious, gorgeous, menace of love—

Before all else, the cover for the NYRB Classics edition of Edmund Wilson’s linked stories, Memoirs of Hecate County, is simply gorgeous. So lush, so decadent, so audacious in the indulgence of satin and rosettes and blondeness and repose and that disconcertingly rousing feeling of having caught a beautiful woman in a luxuriant, half-dreaming stretch [...]

Moving forward from The Mark on the Wall and Other Short Fiction by Virginia Woolf

More on the “lesser” works of authors -- that is, expounding on that feeling one gets after reading a book you’re certain simply isn’t one of author X’s more notable pieces. [Earlier, I lamented on the lesser works of Siri Hustvedt, despite my love for her.] Off we go to The Mark on the Wall [...]