Read This: The Dead Fish Museum

I’ve been dying to read Charles D’Ambrosio’s latest short story collection, The Dead Fish Museum, for about a year and a half, ever since another writer recommended him to me.

deadfish.jpgIf you still need convincing, check out the Stranger review where each of the eight stories gets reviewed by a different writer, including contributions from Jonathan Lethem and Dale Peck. You should also dig into a profile of D’Ambrosio in the Williamette Week, in which we learn about the book he pulled from publication because he’d grown dissatisfied by it: “With a novel, you are just inside this one world and you are committed to it. And I’d never done it before, and I got kind of messed up and thought I had to go a certain way…. It really turned me around for awhile.” Well, now he’s back—don’t miss out.

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15 May 2006 | read this |

Cristina Henriquez Reaches for “The Sun, The Moon, The Stars”

Cristina Henriquez is the author of Come Together, Fall Apart, a collection of eight short stories and an eponymous novella. West Coast readers will get a chance to see her in Seattle tonight (at Elliott Bay) and Los Angeles tomorrow (at Dutton’s), and in a joint appearance with Daniel Alarcon at Corte Madera’s Book Passage later this week.

henriquez.jpgIf the task of choosing my favorite short story were akin to choosing some sort of international literary prize, my shortlist would look something like this: “The School” by Donald Barthelme, “Pastoralia” by George Saunders, “Marie” by Edward P. Jones, “Good Country People” by Flannery O’Connor, “Goodbye, My Brother” by John Cheever, and “The Sun, the Moon, the Stars” by Junot Diaz. Then again, if I were on the panel for a prize whose shortlist looked like this, there would probably be murmurs among the other jurors suggesting that I be disqualified as a judge, my bias obvious.

I would try to convince them that I really did love all these stories equally, that they had each influenced me or knocked my socks off at some time. But, like a parent who claims to love all his children the same but whose adoration for one is plain, there’s no denying it: Junot Diaz’ “The Sun, the Moon, the Stars” is my favorite short story. To read my writing, it’s not a surprising choice. Which is why I was loath to pick it when I first started writing this. I wanted to be less predictable. But oh, admit it, I finally thought, “The Sun, the Moon, the Stars” is The One for me.

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1 May 2006 | selling shorts |

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