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Short Stories Read 2009

Here’s a reverse-chronological list of all the short stories (that weren’t part of a whole book) I’ve read in 2009. My rating system is out of five stars, but it’s not a comparison system, so all of the five stars aren’t of the same value, all of the four stars aren’t the same, etc. It’s more about my experience as I was reading the story-were there flaws? Did I absolutely love it and wish it wouldn’t end? Did I fear that it never would end? That being said, here’s my rough guideline; in practice, the line between 5s and 4s gets blurred a lot. (5=Extraordinary. I will immediately try to read other stories by this author, 4=Very strong strong, good writing style, really enjoyed, 3=A good read, possibly had one or two really strong areas, but the rest was average OR parts of the story were great and other parts were just miserable, 2=There were some major flaws in the story, but it had some good points as well, 1=I regret ever having even considered reading this story). Titles are linked to a free copy of the story available on the internet, or aren’t linked at all. If I’ve discussed the story on the blog, that’s noted and linked in parantheses following the author.





  • “Singing My Sister Down” by Margo Lanagan***** (50)
  • “My Lord’s Man” by Margo Lanagan***
  • “Sweet Pippit” by Margo Lanagan****
  • “House of Many” by Margo Lanagan*****
  • “Wooden Bride” by Margo Lanagan****


  • “Damballah” by John Edgar Wideman*****
  • “Steady Going Up” by Maya Angelou****
  • “Blackness” by Jamaica Kincaid****
  • “Remember Him a Outlaw” by Alexis DeVeaux***


  • “Diary of an African Nun” by Alice Walker** (thoughts)
  • “Lost in the City” by Edward P. Jones** (40)
  • “Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone” by James Baldwin***
  • “Proper Library” by Carolyn Ferrell***



  • “Ava Wrestles the Alligator” by Karen Russell
  • “Haunting Olivia” by Karen Russell
  • “Z.Z.’s Sleep-Away Camp for Disordered Dreamers” by Karen Russell (thoughts)
  • “The Star-Gazer’s Log of Summer-Time Crime” by Karen Russell
  • from Children’s Reminiscences of the Westward Migration” by Karen Russell



Thank you for commenting! For a long while, my health precluded me replying to everyone. Yet I missed the conversation, so I'm now making an effort to reply again. It might take a few days though, and there will be times when I simply can't. Regardless, I always read and value what you say.

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