Short Stories All the Time

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

05 January, 2013

Mary Helen Stefaniak, "Voyeurs" and "America, the Beautiful"

"Voyeurs" was first published in North American Review and "America, the Beautiful" in the Yale Review. Both were then published in Stefaniak's collection, Self-Storage and Other Stories. Both stories are funny and poignant. In "Voyeurs" several girls spy on an exhibitionist and invite, for pay, other girls to look at the man who makes a display of himself every evening through his window and in "America, the Beautiful" Georgie and his family must deal with the Croatian grandmother who is not sure that indoor bathrooms are anything but barbaric. I'm not sure in what year the story takes place but it must be early 20th century. Both stories deal with females coming to terms with something unfamiliar and new. The girls have never seen a penis much less have encountered an exhibitionist and the grandmother in "America, the Beautiful" is coming to terms with indoor plumbing. Her logic is that it is, "...better to eat food cooked in the gutter, than under the same roof where people shit." Reading both stories reminds me that there are many ways to look at any situation. The descriptions of Staramajka flushing the kitchen scraps down the toilet are hilarious.

23 September, 2010

Mary Helen Stefaniak, "You Love That Dog"

First published in Epoch in 2005 and subsequently in the anthology, New Stories from the South: 2006-The Year's Best. It is written in 3rd person point-of-view. Lisa, twenty-five years younger than her husband, goes to college, hangs out with girlfriends, has an affair, while Mac delivers new vehicles to special customers hundreds of miles away from home. Each time Mac leaves, Lisa thinks about how to tell him their marriage is over and Mac says the next time Susie, his dog, runs away, he's finished with her.

I enjoyed this story about unequal relationships and how when one person rescues the other, it is probably not going to last.


Mary Helen Stefaniak's webpage
Wikipedia biography, Stefaniak