What would have happened if Harry Potter had been a squib? How might the story of the books gone differently? Well. Perhaps Arabella Figg noticed something first.
Alice Munro Puts Down Her Pen to Let the World In: Accepting a literary prize in Toronto last month, Alice Munro, the acclaimed short-story writer — “our Chekhov,” as Cynthia Ozick has called her — winner of the Man Booker International Prize and just about every important North American literary award for which she is eligible, told a newspaper interviewer, “I’m probably not going to write anymore.”
Goodbye, Thursday productivity. Hello, 10 wonderful short films based on famous short stories.
They were in the stairwell that led down to the commode, a dangerous place in its time, the Grand Central Station Men’s, but for different reasons. I saw the dirt tracks leading there, and I left the monkeys in the chandelier and followed them. I kept to the tracks careful as I could. There were pits and corrugations everywhere in the old tile, any one of which could hide a man killing gob of explosive. At my back I heard Spot complain: “Leave ‘em be, Blacks. We’ve warned ‘em, ain’t we? If they blow themselves up, it ain’t on us.”UXO, BOMB DOG by Eliot Fintushel (single-link short fiction)
You should read these three stories by Amy Hempel. (Oh, and maybe listen to her read, here.) While you're at it, read some of these idiosyncratic but beautifully-written stories by grammarian Gary Lutz.
How To Talk To Girls At Parties by Neil Gaiman. Full text and reading by the author: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4.
"Good People": A new short story by David Foster Wallace. New to Wallace? Like "Good People"? Read "Incarnations of Burned Children", a story with a similar sense of tension and dread. Want more? Okay.
Alexei Sayle's writing for the Independent in the Motoring section. Occasionally it's about motoring, too! Also found was his "Imitating Katherine Walker" [html/pdf] and an excerpt from his book of short stories 'Barcelona Plates'. more inside