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Show Don’t Tell

The story of an undergrad program for writers who are all vying for the top fellowship award called the Peaslee. A look at how success can shape our future, but also how the outward signs of it can sometimes disguise the failure inside.

Author: Curtis Sittenfeld
Publication: The New Yorker, June 5 & 12, 2017
Date Read: June 3rd, 2017

Jack, July

The story of a meth addict who’s coming off a high. It’s evocative — wrought with emotion and turmoil. It sheers the face off addiction and leaves you with an understanding that some only find after pining for more.

Author: Victor Lodato
Publication: The New Yorker, September 22nd, 2014
Date Read: September 20th, 2014

Picasso

A genie offers the narrator the option of becoming Picasso or owning a Picasso. The man then contemplates the benefits of each. It’s fast read that ends how you would expect of something of this caliber. It’s very well written, but doesn’t feel much like traditional fiction. It’s more an exercise in thought processes and framing.

Author: Cesar Aira
Publication: The New Yorker, August 11th, 2014
Date Read: August 14th, 2014

Fragments of a Young Conquistador

Story about the young nephew of Cortez who is a poet rather than a fighter. He’s sent to learn how to be a man with his Uncle in the New World. He arrives after a lengthy ship ride to stand alongside his uncle as a god. Through his New World adventure he falls in love with Montezuma’s daughter and sees much of the encroaching horror attributed to the conquerors.

Author: Lincoln Michel
Publication: Day One, Kindle Edition, December 11, 2013
Date Read: December 11, 2013

A Minor Revolution

Tianeman square historical story.

Author: Michael X. Wang
Publication: Day One, November 13, 2013
Date Read: November 13, 2013

Collectors

The story of Rogelio and Henry, two men who find themselves cellmates in the Collectors, a terrible prison where each finds solace in the other. Rogelio is a country guy, who enjoys resurrecting cars and trucks to their former pristine condition. Henry is a playwright, who was sentenced for creating a play called “The Idiot President.” The two men’s friendship and indulgence in one another seem to exceed the confines of the prison walls. It’s humanity, love, and friendship etched in the molded, fading walls of the prison that confined them.

Author: Daniel Alarcon
Publication: The New Yorker, July 29, 2013
Date Read: July 28, 2013

From a Farther Room