PROBLEMS WITH PEOPLE …IN INTERESTING TIMES

More short stories. I love them! If you prefer longer fiction, skip this post. If you want to try shorter fiction, Problems with People might be a good place to start.

PROBLEMS WITH PEOPLE by David Guterson will dazzle you with writing that in each story immediately puts you into a situation with characters who don’t quite understand each other, but are trying to relate. From settings in the pacific Northwest to South Africa, Germany, and Nepal, Guterson skillfully reveals the psychological dramas of daily life. Idealistic goals, memories of lost opportunities, misunderstandings and family quirks… the immediacy of the settings and characterizations makes each story a small gem. Guterson is best known for his PEN/Faulkner Award winning novel Snow Falling on Cedars.

MAY YOU LIVE IN INTERESTING TIMES by Tereze Gluck  is another short story collection inhabited by introspective women making their ways through contemporary life. The writing is essay-like; it does not envelop you as Guterson’s writing does. The narrators are brutally honest about their feelings and actions. One narrator is a woman trying to overcome her revulsion, while also trying to maintain her friendship with an old friend dying of AIDS. Each story is a version of the purported Chinese curse in the title of the collection, which won the Iowa Short Fiction Award when it was published in 1995.

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