Category Short Story Collections

The First Person and Other Stories by Ali Smith: The Third Person

The Third Person is one of the shorter works in Ali Smith’s anthology, and I feel like it might be related two other stories – The Second Person and The First Person – which I’ll be reading later. The Third Person is written in an interesting format. It’s a bunch of different stories/ moments in […]

The First Person and Other Stories by Ali Smith: Present

It is late at night in the middle of November when the story’s unnamed narrator tries to find some peace and quiet in a roadside pub. At this time of the day, only a barmaid and a man are hanging around the pub. The man is a shameless flirt trying to lure the barmaid who […]

The First Person and Other Stories by Ali Smith: The Child

Next up in The First Person and Other Stories is The Child, and it is just as amusing as True Short Story! It begins at a Waitrose supermarket where the story’s unnamed narrator – a young woman – goes to do her weekly shopping during her lunch break. The most extraordinary thing happens to her […]

The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories Edited by Martin Edwards

When I saved this anthology to be read on Christmas Eve, I could imagine myself sitting by the window, enjoying the snowfall, while indulging in some crime classics and a hot brew. Alas, Michiganders didn’t have a White Christmas this time around – in fact not a whiff of snow yet – nonetheless, this book […]

The First Person and Other Stories by Ali Smith: True Short Story

I’m on to my next short story collection, and this time my pick is The First Person and Other Stories by Ali Smith. In its first story, our narrator’s name is also Ali. Ali is at a cafe when she overhears two men at the next table talking about literature, and literature being a subject […]

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen: Fatherland

Fatherland, the final story in The Refugees, recounts the meeting of two half-sisters for the first time in their lives. Phuong is twenty-three-years-old when her namesake, who has now taken the name Vivien, visits Vietnam from America. Vivien is the daughter Phuong’s father Mr Ly had with his first wife. After the fall of Saigon, […]

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen: Someone Else Besides You

Thomas, the protagonist in Someone Else Besides You, the penultimate story in The Refugees is a divorced, second-generation Vietnamese American. Thomas’s ex-wife, Sam had wanted to have a child with Thomas. But when she couldn’t get Thomas to agree to it, she had gone her separate way, although they still loved each other. Thomas’s marriage […]

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen: The Americans

In The Americans, the protagonist is James Carver, a sixty-eight-years-old American veteran pilot who had fought in the Vietnam war. Although James had flown a B-52, “an ungainly blue whale of a plane,” carrying bombs over the region during the war, he had never been to Vietnam before. But now with his daughter, Claire living […]

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen: I’d Love You to Want Me

I’d Love You to Want Me is one of the saddest love stories I’ve read. The story begins at a wedding where Mrs. Sa Khanh and her husband who is referred to as Professor are attendees. Professor has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s recently, so Sa is used to his memory lapses, but it had not […]

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen: The Transplant

In The Transplant, Arthur Arellano is a Mexican-American man who has autoimmune hepatitis, a chronic condition which basically means his immune system attacks the liver. When Arthur was first diagnosed with this disease, it had caught him off-guard. He is a compulsive gambler who had ignored the early symptoms as stress over his gambling debts. […]

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen: War Years

According to this interview published on NPR, War Years is a story loosely based on the author’s family’s life. As you may know, Viet Thanh Nguyen is a Vietnamese-American novelist who fled to America with his parents after the fall of Saigon when he was four-years-old. After they settled in San Jose, California in the […]

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen: The Other Man

The protagonist of The Other Man is Liem, an eighteen-year-old Vietnamese boy. As the eldest son in a family of hawkers and farmers, the duty of helping out the family financially had fallen on Liem at a very young age. So at twelve, Liem had left school to shine the boots of American soldiers, and […]

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen: Black-Eyed Women

Black-Eyed Women, the opening story in Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen’s anthology begins by listing some of the miserable ways one could become famous. Surviving being kidnapped and imprisoned for years, involvement in a sex scandal, escaping a fatal disaster unscathed – all these are ways one’s name could make headlines. And it is […]

Golf Stories: Tees And Teens by Dan Jenkins

In Tees And Teens by Dan Jenkins, we have an old sports writer covering the Emily Turner Clambake golf tournament which is on its fifth year. Named after its sponsor Emily, a rich woman somewhere between the age of 55-82, this tournament had been the brainchild of Elbert Flash Pembroke, a former president of the […]

Golf Stories: Farrell’s Caddie by John Updike

Just like P. G. Wodehouse’s, John Updike is a famous novelist who loved golf. Updike had been introduced to the game when he was 25, and even as an amateur, he had managed to hit impressive shots every now and then. So I suppose it makes sense golf made it into his writings. 😀 Farrell’s […]