This is another set of stories read, from Day 49 to Day 53. From tomorrow, that is the 1st of February 2014, a new set will start.
387 Short Stories: Day 49: Story 49: In a Café by Jean Rhys
Taken from the Collection: The Collected Stories
In a Café is a story by Jean Rhys, which just like her books and stories touches on the topic of women being used by men. It is a sad story. It is about Phoebe and the life she thinks she was meant for and the life she comes to lead. It is about sexuality and about possession and about using women.
Rhys’s stories are born from an inner stream of consciousness. She saw. She felt. She made a note. She wrote. Her stories are strong. They are sad. They are weak. They are beautifully written nonetheless.
387 Short Stories: Day 50: Story 50: Poor Devil by Charles Baxter
Taken from the Collection: Gryphon and Other Stories
If you have not read, “The Feast of Love” by Charles Baxter, his most beautiful novel on love and loss, then I suggest you go and place an order for it right now and devour it. Till the time the book gets delivered, you read a short story by him called, “Poor Devil”.
This is from the collection, “Gryphon” and is about a couple heading for divorce. The couple is self-destructive and the story is succinctly told. He describes love, passion and its destruction just like Raymond Carver or at least that is what I think.
387 Short Stories: Day 51: Story 51: A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You by Amy Bloom
Taken from the collection: A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You and Other Stories
The title story which I read is about a mom who is determined to see her daughter through a sex-change operation. To me the story is written very sensitively and with a lot of passion. The idea that a mother can see through a child go through a sex-change operation says a lot about her determination and support and to me that was enough. Nothing else needed to be told then and it goes without saying that the story has been beautifully told, not trivializing it or making it too sentimental.
387 Short Stories: Day 52: Story 52: Tenth of December by George Saunders
Taken from the collection: Tenth of December: Stories
George Saunders’ stories shine on every single page with reference to plot, style, imagery and the way his characters turn out to be. The stories are not only dark and funny but also touching. He completes the cycle of storytelling the way it should be done, without making the reader uncomfortable or getting too familiar with emotions displayed. He tunes in the living of today and what has happened in the past, and maybe that is why every single reader would be able to relate to what he writes.
I loved the title story, “Tenth of December” and only for that alone, I could give it five stars. It is about a character who walks into the December woods wanting to die, before becoming a burden on his family. Stories such as these make you wonder about the power in Saunders’s writing. It breathes everyday living infused with its tragedy and humour.
387 Short Stories: Day 53: Story 53: I Looked For You, I Called Your Name by Laura van den Berg
Taken from the Collection: The Isle of Youth
“I Looked for You, I Called Your Name” is about the woman discovering her husband’s personality and in the wake of that, her relationship is riddled with doubt and she also begins to understand herself. The nature of the setting, Patagonia in this case also lends to the fragility of the story. For me, what worked the most was the sudden bleakness you are witness to throughout the stories and yet somewhere down the line, there is the underlined hope that is subtle and exquisitely written about.