When a friend sent around a “let’s play” Facebook message about ten books that stuck with you, I made the list off the top of my head. When I finished, I realized on that list I’d included three short story collections.
Golden Apples, by Eudora Welty: a collection of interlocking stories set in Morgana, Mississippi, which I’ve read more than three but less than eight times.
Welding with Children, by Tim Gautreaux: the funniest set of short stories I’ve ever read, including the title story involving the narrators attempt to discuss the Bible with his brood of grandkids.
The Stories of John Cheever, by- you guessed it: surely the most elegant of short story writers, Cheever came into my awareness in college; thereafter, I asked for one of his collections for Christmas only to receive a large, shiny red book of his ENTIRE collection, a gift that to me still spells Christmas exuberance.
Many people write short stories because, well, they’re short. We’re almost universally taught to write short stories as a way to get our writing legs underneath us, working our way up to the novel. That’s why I did it, anyway. Now I see a new truth: I’ve stuck with the short story form because it has stuck with me.
Remember: You Cain’t Do Nothing with Love