Short Stories All the Time

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I was stopped in my thirteen-year old tracks when I read Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery," back in the early 1970s, enthralled with the power of a short story's ability to put on the page some of the mystery that is humankind.

Nearly 600 stories are reviewed here.

I write short stories and have a creative writing prompt book, READY, SET, GO WRITE! 1st edition at iBookstore and 2nd edition at Amazon for the Kindle.

I also make short video fiction pieces, "Lemon Cookies," "Stories," and "When."

Dec 3, 2010

Tobias Wolff, "Say Yes"

"Say Yes" by Tobias Wolff is a short story, about 1500 words, written in a close third person POV of the husband. Ann, his wife, asked him why he didn't think white people should marry black people. Washing dishes together, this became the topic which the wife would not let him drop. As Ann delved into the topic with specific examples, the husband became more frustrated. In the course of washing dishes, she cut her thumb, not seriously, and the husband hoped the subject would be dropped. It wasn't.

I like the way blood was included so naturally into the story, especially just one drop. It reminded me of the racist idea that one drop of black blood would dirty white blood.

The story is ultimately, I think, about how people do or do not ever really know another person.

Tobias Wolff read this story and it is posted on the Huffington Post website. In this reading, Wolff deleted three or so scattered sentences and an entire paragraph toward the end.

This story was first published in The Missouri Review where it was titled "Washing Up" and subsequently in Our Story Begins.

LINKS:
Tobias Wolff reading "Say Yes"