Short Stories All the Time

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

22 March, 2014

Ron Rash, "Hard Times"

Jacob and Edna have been losing eggs from their henhouse to a thief. Times are tough and Edna no longer smiles like when she and Jacob were first married. Edna is worried that they might still end up like Hartley, "the poorest of them all," but Jacob says, "There's many folks worse off." Jacob tries to be nice and remember that Edna was not so hard until the bank repossessed their truck and most of their animals.

There is an encounter with Hartley and it brings up an issue, Joel and Mary, that obviously has been bothering Jacob. So up to this point we know the setting is rural, the people are extremely poor and hungry and there's something that Edna did or said that caused Joel and Mary "to leave and never darken our door again." So, there are a couple of mysteries, the missing eggs and Edna's causing Joel and Mary to leave. I won't give any more details but I highly encourage people to read Ron Rash.

"Hard Times" is written in a very close third-person POV. It was first published in Sewanee Review and then was selected for inclusion in the 2013 issue of Best American Short Stories.

Last night at the Dallas Museum of Art my husband and I went to hear Ron Rash and Daniel Woodrell talk about their writing processes and practices as well as read excerpts. It was a wonderful evening.

FAVORITE LINE:
"Her hair was down and her face not yet hardened to face the day's demands and he glimpsed the younger, softer woman she'd been twenty years ago when they'd married."

01 May, 2011

Ron Rash, "The Ascent"

May is short story month!!

I've read this story before but read it again for the Zoetrope short story discussion group. I love this story. Jared's imagination and youthful wish that he could rescue loved ones leads to serious trouble.

The story arc is perfectly structured, the story suspenseful and poignant.

LINKS:

book review by John Grooms, Creative Loafing
book review, NYTimes
short story review on The Blog of Muriel Stone
another review, not so positive but with some good points
my own earlier blog entry

13 October, 2010

Ron Rash, "The Ascent"

Ron Rash's, "The Ascent," short story was first published in Tin House and subsequently in Best American Short Stories, 2010. Jared, a fifth grader, whose parents are drug abusers, finds in the Smoky Mountains a crashed airplane with two dead passengers inside. On the hike, in the snow, up the mountain, Jared's imagination has him escorting Lyndee Starnes while protecting her and showing her the different animals tracks. Jared takes the diamond ring off of the dead woman's hand then his father finds it and sells it to buy more drugs. Jared returns to the site for the man's Rolex.

This is a heartbreaking story of a young boy who wants to rescue those he loves even as he realizes the futility of his efforts.

My test for the magnificence of a story is whether or not I can read another story right away. With this one, I could not. I had to savor it.

LINKS:

interview with Rash
Ron Rash wins Frank O’Connor Short Story Award