I've fallen deeply in love with short stories. Reading one is like passing by an open window-a brief and ephemeral portal into a stranger's life, bits of imagery or conversation caught out of context. They often leave us, the reader, with questions rather than answers.
Nothing needs to be wrapped up in a bow. That's really the crux of it, what I find so appealing. The moment in time is what's important. Not a journey, an arc, or even an ending. When it comes to reading fiction nothing frustrates me more than a sudden and unrealistic resolution engineered to end the book. If you read quite a lot, you start to see how often a great book with good pacing suddenly comes to a point where pages or stamina run out and things are swept awkwardly into a succinct but unbelievable end.
As "they" say- everything has a reason or season. I know it's cliche (don't worry- not breaking out the Live Laugh Love signs anytime soon), but cliches can be valuable. They often communicate universal truths. Thinking about short stories and how powerfully evocative they can be makes me think about life in the bigger picture. Many experiences are impressionable, even life changing, without being long term, permanent, or providing closure. Some things just are, and that's enough for me.
*Photos from recent hikes to Lake Serene and Snoquera Falls*
Below are my absolute favorite short stories from The New Yorker. All are available for free online in both written and audio (podcast) form~
-Barn Burning-Haruki Murakami
-Stone Mattress-Margaret Atwood
-What the Forest Remembers-Jennifer Egan
-The Monkey Who Speaks- Han Ong
-Fjord of Killary-Kevin Barry
-Love Letter-George Saunders