Lorrie Moore

Which is More than I Can Say About Some People

Selected from Birds of  America (1998)

Loved this story! Moore is a master at capturing the nuance.  Her portrayal of this mother daughter relationship is spot on.


Tania Hershman (1994 ….)

Go Away

Brewing a Story

The Angel in the Car Park

Evie and Arfids

Flora Comes Back

All selected from The White Road and Other Stories (2008), a collection of stories inspired by popular Science magazines.  Evie and the Arfids works especially well.

Katherine Mansfield (1888 – 1923)


Selected from Katherine Mansfield Selected Stories (2002)

Bloomsbury, London – the plight of an ageing actress.  Fallen upon hard times and without the money to pay the rent to her land lady Miss Ada Moss goes in search of work either as a contralto or as an extra in the theatre, but she finds nothing more than disappointment.  In the end she resorts to company of a different kind.

Catherine Mansfield (1888 – 1923)

The Wind Blows

Selected from Katherine Mansfield Selected Stories (2002)

An example of modernist impressionism, Mansfield style,  using the wind to symbolise the changing moods of a teenage girl.  One might describe the piece as a sketch rather than a story, although the ‘plot’ as far as there is one, is in the unexplained change in perspective of the narrator in the final section of the story. Has ‘time passed’ or it is something else.  One gets to the end and immediately turns back to the beginning to see if anything has been missed in the reading.  By the end of the second read through, you are still unsure, but this is modernist writing so all you need to do is go with the flow, allow your mind to follow the twists and turns in the prose, and enjoy!

You can red the story on=line here

Sophie Hannah (1971 ….)

We All Get What We Want

Selected from Te Fantastic book of Everybody’s Secrets published 2008.

Sophie has captured exactly what it’s like to work in a certain kind of office, for a certain kind of company – so real you can almost touch the desk.  An escalating situation between manager and the managed through emaill exchanges, makes for entertaining reading, and then there’s the whole thing about advertising for a new family.

William Trevor

The Room

Selected from Cheating at Canasta (2007)

A dingy room above a betting shop, two consenting adults, two struggling marriages.  Two relative strangers take what they need from the afternoons as they attempt to piece together their respective lives. Subtle writing but it certainly won’t make your heart strings go zing.