R Austin Freeman

The Aluminium Dagger

Taken from Classic Locked Room Mysteries (edited by David Stuart Davies)

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Junot Diaz

The Pura Principle

Short story from This is How to Lose Her

printed in the `New Yorker in 2007.

Family relationships, a cultural melting pot, prejudice and tough love. Diaz captures the atmosphere well, with no frills and absolutely no sentimentality.

Available to read here

Meg Wolitzer

If You’re Happy and You Know It (after J D Salinger’s A Perfect Day for Banana Fish).

This story is part of McSweeney’s Cover Stories (issue 49), in which contemporary writers take a well known short story and, guess what, cover it.

I wondered how anyone would go about doing that for A Perfect Day for Banana Fish, and I’m pleased to say that, whilst it’s a faint shadow of the original, it’s not a mash up either.  it’s been simplified so the message is louder and more in your face and aspects of the story have been omitted. I hadn’t heard of Meg Wolitzer so wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’m off to google her now.

I’m not sure yet how I feel about cover stories in general, but I’m about to find out as I work my easy through the collection.