New Short Fiction
I’ve been reading and writing a lot of short fiction recently. It helps that I’m teaching an MA course on short stories at the moment, so all the inspiration is right in front of me. I often choose a short story to read over a novel, partly because of the familiar truism that you can read a short story in one sitting and partly because there’s a hard-to-define pleasure in reading a short story and coming to some subtle realisation about the characters or theme that I love.
In particular, I’ve been reading a lot of Junot Diaz, George Saunders, Julie Orringer, and rereading some old favourites by Mary Gaitskill, Zora Neale Hurston, Annie Proulx, Anton Chekhov, Angela Carter and Gabriel García Márquez. Like a lot of writers, my best ideas come striding into my head late at night when I’m trying to get to sleep, so I’ve been keeping all those late night half-dreamt ideas in a very long Note on my phone. I’m trying to get back to using pen and paper and making a journal/scrapbook like I used to, but as long as some words get written in amongst everything else there always is to do, I’m happy.