As part of Short Story Month, Matt Bell posted a pair of exciting essays on his blog. The first was on Sarah Norek’s story, “Pet,” which we got to publish in Keyhole 10. It’s a great reminder of what attracted me to “Pet” in the first place:
What’s most interesting about Norek’s descriptions of her characters—besides the sharp and surprising prose with which they’re rendered—is how full these moments are, in their pilings of close-ups and snapshot memories, given that the characters themselves are offered without proper names, which in another story might signal a more mythical or archetypal or otherwise purposely flat group of characters. Instead, Norek gives up her characters rather fully, lighting their portraits from mere inches away, revealing the movements of their mouths, the loud clangs of their hearts, the flutters of their hands so often unable to touch on their own, to close the closest gaps remaining[.]
Matt’s an on-record Norek fan, and in addition to this close look at her story, he’s just published a new story of hers in this month’s issue of The Collagist.
The second essay is on my own story, “Another Village,” which came out in the most recent issue of Mid-American Review. I won’t pluck a quote, but it’s easily the closest attention anyone’s given my fiction outside of the feedback-for-improvement model, and it means a lot to me that Matt would take the time.
And man, he’s writing on a lot of stories this month. Here are just a few more:
- “Full Circle Thrice” by Sabina Murray, from THE COMMON 1
- “A Film That Will Make the Audience Feel Pure Joy” by Jacob Wren, from FENCE 13.2
- “We Order Them on Spools by Brightness and by Warmth” by David Hollander, from UNSAID 5
- “The Oxygen Protocol” by Brian Evenson, from CONJUNCTIONS 55