Reading short stories

May is Short Story Month

Dan Wickett’s Emerging Writers Network reminded me that this is Short Story Month. Therefore, it’s time to point you to Charles May’s wonderful blog, Reading the Short Story. All three sites will be fun detours this month as they attract attention to the new, the prizewinning, and the overlooked.

One of my favorite story authors is H.C. Hsu, whose short works are evocative and disconcerting. This brief excerpt is taken from the story “What Else” in Love is Sweeter:

The teenager turned her head to Renee, slipped the earphones off, tossed her hair to the side, and looked at her. A pair of big, clear, moss green eyes, ponds of which one could see straight through to the bottom.

“Could you watch my bag for a second?” Renee asked, getting up to set her bag on the chair.


It was a soft voice. Supple, like down, delicate, feminine. But it was definitely a male voice.

Renee couldn’t help catching another glimpse of the face from which the voice stemmed, a stalk of dandelion, words blown into the wind. It was a very elegant face. Long, white like a pumpkin seed, thin pale pink lips. Green eyes, hair the color of a wildfire in an autumn forest—striking, was the word that came to mind.

Share the madness of Short Story Month

Begin on Readwave with Charles E. May’s three-minute memoir about falling in love with stories as a child in the 1940s. He says:

For forty years in university classrooms I tried to “infect” others with my obsession. I retired seven years ago and for the past five years, I have continued my shameless efforts by writing a blog, Reading the Short Story, in which I share the madness that began in that wintery little house on a mountainside in Eastern Kentucky so many years ago. I invite you to join me.

Yes, do join May, whom you may know as the author of several textbooks on the short story. This month, he’s been blogging about Alice Munro, Grace Paley, Eudora Welty, William Trevor, and other masters of the form.

Don’t you think short stories about insanity are the most memorable? Why?

Taylor Leopold Photography
Photo courtesy of Taylor Leopold