Author Archives: alex

Richard Bausch’s Advice on Reading Like a Writer

Most of us come to this work from having read so much, from the discovery that nothing else quite nourished us inwardly in quite the way the printed word did.  We couldn’t get enough.  We were and are rapacious readers. … Continue reading

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“Beautiful Monsters” & Point of View

In the world of Eric Puchner’s “Beautiful Monsters,” there are no adults. Usually. The story opens with a boy making breakfast for himself and his sister when he spots a grown man eating an apple from a tree. The boy … Continue reading

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Characterization in Sharon Solwitz’s “Alive”

Best American Short Stories 2012 – “Alive” by Sharon Solwitz Three years ago, a cousin I was very close to died in a car accident. Both of us were only children, born exactly a year apart, and we were the … Continue reading

Posted in Best American Short Stories 2012, Characterization, Death, family, maturation, Sharon Solwitz, Short Story, Third-person limited | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dialogue in Jess Walter’s “Anything Helps”

Best American Short Stories 2012 – “Anything Helps” by Jess Walter Dialogue in Jess Walter’s “Anything Helps” serves to develop characters, convey important plot elements, and create tension. But I hope it isn’t too much of a stretch to use … Continue reading

Posted in alcohol, Best American Short Stories 2012, Dialogue, Drinking, family, Humorous, Jess Walter, relationships, Short Story, Technique, Third-person limited | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Detail in Mike Meginnis’ “Navigators”

Best American Short Stories 2012 – “Navigators” by Mike Meginnis As someone who caught the tail end of the NES-generation games, this story strikes a special chord for me. Told in limited third-person narration from Joshua’s point of view, “Navigators” … Continue reading

Posted in Best American Short Stories 2012, family, Fate, maturation, Melancholy, Mike Meginnis, relationships, Short Story, Third-person limited | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

A Theft

The principal supporting business now is rage. Hatred of the various grays the mountain sends, hatred of the mill, The Silver Bill repeal, the best liked girls who leave each year for Butte. One good restaurant and bars can’t wipe … Continue reading

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“Your Fate Hurtles Down at You” by Jim Shepard

The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories originally published in Electric Literature I’ve watched Jim Shepard undertake a massive project of research and imagination for about a year now. When a story in 2010’s Best American Short Stories appeared as “The Netherlands … Continue reading

Posted in Fate, First Person, Historical fiction, in medias res, Jim Shepard, Melancholy, Pen/O. Henry Prize Stories 2011, Short Story, Subtle | Leave a comment