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Stories 254 - 258

All from recent issues of The New Yorker:

Story 254: A Spoiled Man by Daniyal Mueenuddin (Sept. 15, 2008 issue).  One of the first stories I posted about here was by this author, a Pakistani living in the US currently.  This story is about making life-choices that seem right at the time and turn out poorly later, and perhaps also about the way life beats people into believing they don't deserve anything good.

Story 255: Gold Boy, Emerald Girl by Yiyun Li (October 13, 2008 issue).  This one didn't work for me.  I didn't connect with either of the main characters -- a lonely Chinese forty-ish "spinster" devoted to a former college professor, and that college professor's son who returns to China from America.  They come together, sort of, thanks to the professor, but it just didn't resonate with me.

Story 256: The Noble Truths of Suffering by Aleksandar Himon (September 22, 2008 issue).  It's about the envy of a struggling writer for an award-winning one; it's about where writers get their ideas; and it's about how our families not only shape us, but shape others' perceptions of us.  I think it's a pretty cynical story, but it just clicks on all the key moments.

Story 257: The Fat Man's Race by Louise Erdrich (November 3, 2008 issue).  I don't think I've ever read a Louise Erdrich story this short.  It feels like the retelling of a folk-tale -- perhaps it is, although it's not one I was familar with -- but with a bit of a modern touch.  Really fast, tight story.

Story 258: The Idiot President by Daniel Alarcon (October 6, 2008 issue).  I liked this -- it's about acting, it's about politics, and it's about how we remember things one way, but those around us remember the same event quite differently.


A Story A Day Keeps Boredom Away

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