Short Stories All the Time

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... a few of my thoughts about 900, mostly contemporary, short stories.
Showing posts with label Gay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay. Show all posts

22 September, 2015

Roxane Gay, "We are the Sacrifice of Darkness"

"We are the Sacrifice of Darkness" is a parable against hate and cruelty told in a tender and loving way. Love triumphs. A miner, Hiram Hightower, works incredibly hard and his health and mental well-being suffer until he takes to his "air machine" and flies into the sun for the warmth and light he desperately needs but in his attempt to swallow the sun, he kills it, or swallows it or in any case, the sun disappears. The townspeople hate him and the company wants a sacrifice, his son's first born child.

The story is told in first-person, at first by an eleven year old, then when she's a high school girl, and eventually as the woman married to Hiram's son, Joshua. Hiram was not trying to make the sun disappear, he meant no malice, he needed so much sun after being denied so much for so long working long hours deep, deep in the mines. The story feels modern but the parable aspect feels ancient.

"We are the Sacrifice of Darkness" was published in American Short Fiction in the summer 2012 issue.

16 February, 2013

Roxane Gay, "North Country" and "Girls With Eating Disorders"

This first-person story is about loss, race, false expectations and how a tragedy can numb us to accepting new love from others. A female engineer academic moves to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and encounters people's stereotypes. Many assume and ask if she's from Detroit. The main character also has some stereotypes about her co-workers. It's a well-written story and has some nice descriptions. Gay gets to the point quickly and doesn't flinch away from truths.

"North Country" was first published in Hobart and subsequently included in the Best American Short Stories anthology of 2012.

The flash fiction piece--it's online--is tough and real. Wow. You really should read it. See the link below.

Favorite Line from "North Country":
"At night, I sit in my apartment and watch TV and search for faculty positions and other career opportunities closer to the center of the world."

LINKS:
"Girls with Eating Disorders" another short story by Roxane Gay
Roxane Gay's website