In these disquieting tales of confronting the past, the author and playwright showcases his “keen ear for how people talk, think, and behave” (Publishers Weekly). Listening for Ghosts collects some of David Rabe’s most compelling short fiction of the past few years, including three stories that appeared in the New Yorker. In “Things We Worried About When I Was Ten,” a group of seemingly carefree Midwestern boys are revealed to be egregiously uncared for by their parents. “The Longer Grief” is a slow-motion explosion, as one moment in time propels shards of reckoning through the shared history of a brother and sister. In “Uncle Jim Called,” a man cooking stir fry answers a phone call from the dead . “Suffocation Theory” slyly depicts our off-kilter and increasingly apocalyptic world. In the novella, I Have to Tell You, the elderly tenants of a Midwestern apartment complex seek fairness from a conniving landlord. When an emergency stay in the hospital brings a near-octogenarian named Emma face-to-face with looming injustice, she finds herself burdened with two mysteries to solve. She may never get to the bottom of them, but she is determined to do all she can. Also included are “Things We Worried About When I Was Ten,” which won the 2021 O. Henry Prize, and “The Longer Grief,” which won first prize in the 2019 Narrative Story Contest.
More than sixty stories, poems, and essays are included in this wide-ranging collection by the extravagantly versatile Raymond Carver. Two of the stories—later revised for What We Talk About When We Talk About Love—are particularly notable in that between the first and the final versions, we see clearly the astounding process of Carver's literary development.
Herbert George Wells (1866-1946) was a prolific English writer, now best remembered for his science fiction novels and often credited as being the father of science fiction.'A Dream of Armageddon' is a strange tale of a man who is haunted by a prophetic dream of life in the future in a time when the world is rushing towards a catastrophic and apocalyptic war...and only he has the power to stop the calamity. But stopping Armageddon would mean abandoning the woman he loves....
Puck of Pook's Hill' is a fantasy book by Rudyard Kipling, published in 1906, containing a series of short stories set in different periods of English history. It can count both as historical fantasy – since some of the stories told of the past have clear magical elements, and as contemporary fantasy – since it depicts a magical being active and practising his magic in the England of the early 1900s when the book was written. The stories are all narrated to two children living near Burwash, in the area of Kipling's own house Bateman's, by people magically plucked out of history by the elf Puck, or told by Puck himself.
Stories are one of mankind’s greatest artistic achievements. Whether written down or spoken they have an ability to capture our imagination and thoughts, and take us on incredible journeys in the space of a phrase and the turn of a page.
Within a few words of text or speech, new worlds and characters form, propelling a narrative to a conclusion with intricate ease. Finely crafted, perfectly formed these Miniature Masterpieces, at first thought, seem remarkably easy to conjure up. But ask any writer and they will tell you that distilling the essence of narrative and characters into a short story is one of the hardest acts of their literary craft. Many attempt, but few achieve.
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