Short Stories All the Time

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

20 September, 2016

Sutton Strother, "Calving"

The story is in number 35, Spring 2016, issue of Natural Bridge. It's told in a close 3rd person POV, present tense. Kerri was married to Lena who died a couple of years prior. We never learn how Lena died. I think that's a good thing so that the reader doesn't focus on that. The important thing for Kerri is that she has calved, lost a part of herself, just like the Greenlandic glaciers calf icebergs. Kerri goes to Qaqortoq from Nashville through Toronto, Reykjavik, and Narsarsuaq. She meets Hanne, a microbiologist, who is in Qaqortoq for work and leaves soon.

I like stories that include a setting that works as a metaphor for the whole story and especially when it feels natural and unforced. Also, the microbes that Hanne's scientific team are researching work as a metaphor for the entire story, change, toughness, adaptability, life then death, but in between change, just like Kerri is experiencing. "Hanne shrugs. 'We're not sure yet. But probably. Everything everywhere changes, even microbes.'"

Favorite Lines:
"The houses that pepper the hill overlooking the harbor are painted in every bright color imaginable, huge Legos spilled across the landscape by the careless hand of a child-giant."

"If it's timidity, alcohol would help, but Hanne takes only micro-sips of her merlot. Kerri wants to reach across the table and tip the whole glass into her mouth."

"Not judging--or, at least, she doubts it--but recalibrating, erasing and correcting the mental sketch they've drawn of their new friend."