Short Stories All the Time

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

04 July, 2016

Colm Tóibín and Hannah Tinti

A wonderful discussion between Hannah Tinti and Colm Tóibín about short stories and novels via Symphony Space, Selected Shorts. Colm has a lot of ideas about what a short story is. He quotes Henry James and talks about the "reverse side of the picture."A fiction writer is not a journalist and that the writer needs to "look and look and look." So if you are looking at a press photograph, the fiction writer should look at the person at the edge of the picture and not necessarily take on the story head on but from the side. He gives a great deal of thought to point of view to find that person whose story has not already been told.

Tóibín's website
link to Soundcloud, Selected Shorts

05 October, 2012

Hannah Tinti, "Hit Man of the Year"

I enjoyed Hannah Tinti's reading last night at University of North Texas! She read from her new but unpublished novel. I have a copy of her short story collection, Animal Crackers,  but had not read any of them until yesterday. I have too many books I haven't read yet.

"Hit Man of the Year" tells the story of baby Ambruzzo's birth and circumstances of his life as a hit man for Martin Spordonza. The details are great and Tinti does a nice job of taking Ambruzzo from birth to death. I enjoyed the bakery as setting that anchored the story and Ambruzzo through his lifetime, beginning and end.

Sometimes writers have trouble with first lines and last lines. But here they are both magnificent. Opening line, "Ambruzzo came out fists first." A powerful image and the words sound good to the ear as well. His name sounds like bruise which tells us a lot in just 5 words. This guy is going to be a fighter and his life is probably not going to be easy but he'll put up a struggle.

The ending lines are particularly nice as well. "He lowered the book, lifted his head, and rounded his shoulders. If the shot was clear, it would come to his heart."

Tinti is the editor of the literary journal, One Story. If you love short stories and can only subscribe to one this is the one you should select. It comes about every 3 weeks in the mail. It is one story. No ads.  No poems, no novel excerpts, no essays, nothing else, one story. Slip in your bag and you always have an artwork with you. I collect short stories in much the same way that I collect artworks. I keep them. I take care of them. I organize them. I re-read them. I refer to them. I live with them. To me, short stories are not merely consumable entertainment. Through stories we develop empathy.

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