I suppose I’ve been reading strange stories this week in an attempt to make the “real” world seem a little more normal. Anyway, onward!

3/22/20 – 3/23/20 Rapture Julia Elliott
3/23/20 Tooth, Tongue, and Claw Damien Angelica Walters
3/24/20 Blood Intan Paramaditha
3/25/20 The Organ Runner Lidia Yuknavitch
3/26/20 Your Clothes a Sepulcher, Your Body a Grave Kay Chronister
3/27/20 Under the Black Water Mariana Enriquez
3/28/20 The Royal Summons Leonora Carrington

51voveg8a7lThis week contained three “first time” authors for me; Julia Elliott, Damien Angelica Walters, and Kay Chronister. All incredibly impressive, but Damien Angelica Walters‘ story Tooth, Tongue, and Claw, absolutely blew me away. I’m really getting into dark fairy/folk tales at the moment, and this fell right into my wheelhouse. A young girl is married to a literal monster. Gorgeous, gorgeous gorgeous. It immediately made it onto my favorites tab.

I continued with Lidia Yuknavitch‘s collection, Verge, and I’m very glad I did, because her story, The Organ Runner, also found a place on my favorites tab. It would appear I enjoy stories about women overcoming male oppression. Possibly in horrific ways. Can’t imagine why.

Once again, Mariana Enriquez nails supernatural unease with Under the Black Water. Two young men get thrown into a river by cops. But what follows this incident is more horrific than any act of police arrogance. The final image of this story is burned into my brain. I’ve sadly only got two stories left in this collection, Things We Lost in the Fire. It’s phenomenal, and I recommend it to everyone.

I’m going to do some comfort reading next week. I’m halfway through Daphne du Maurier’s The Apple Tree, and I’m going to revisit Flannery O’Connor (A Good Man is Hard to Find), Shirley Jackson, Elizabeth Hand, Richard Matheson, and Camilla Grudova.

Reading a short story every day makes me really happy. I’m at about 650 stories now, and I can’t imagine stopping for any reason. It’s not as though I’m going to run out of books. And I’ve discovered some amazing writers, and I get genuinely excited about their work. And thanks to Twitter, I’ve ever had tiny interactions with some of them. Bonkers.

I think my dream is to gather all my favorite living short story writers, and put a collection together. Maybe one day. Easier said than done, I appreciate, but it’s fun to consider who would be on that list.


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