The current Diversity Roll Call is for short stories, and I have decided to share three of my favorite short story collections.
Twice Told: Original Stories Inspired by Original Artwork by Scott Hunt – The concept for this collection is pretty simple: two authors were sent one drawing by Scott Hunt and then asked to write a story about it. The brilliance of this collection is that the stories very often deal with very similar things to resolve the picture. It’s kind of uncanny. For example, one of the pictures is of an axe on a table with a cake; both stories deal with gender expectations. One picture is of a little kid in a bunny suit; both stories deal with inappropriate sexual attention. One picture is of a man in front of a donut shop; both stories are about girls scared to confront their pasts. The other great thing is that I read that book two years ago at least, and I still remember those stories clearly.
I Believe in Water: Twelve Brushes with Religion by Marilyn Singer – This short story collection is all about religion, and the different encounters and struggles people have with it. Great collection because it opens up possibilities and understanding.
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer – I don’t remember all of the stories in this collection because I read it several years ago, but the one about the teacher rang especially true with me (and I think even inspired a lesson plan). And I do remember that Packer is an awesome writer and reading this collection led me to seek out more of her work.