A short story a day review

Category: Literary

“The Burglar’s Christmas” by Willa Cather

by kattomic

willa cather“The Burglar’s Christmas” by Willa Cather


Story 356c/366

This is one of Cather’s most famous short stories and it’s cropping up all over in the run-up to the holiday. It’s a tale of forgiveness and redemption and a reminder that at the holidays, not everyone is warm and well-fed. You can read it here.

See you tomorrow!

“Eyes of a Blue Dog” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

by kattomic

gabriel garcia marquez“Eyes of a Blue Dog” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez


Story 355b/366

I was introduced to the author’s work by a beau whose narrative nonfiction is among the best I’ve ever read. He and I parted ways long ago but the legacy of that liaison is still appreciated. The story is about dreamers who meet every night. The title phrase is repeated nightly and the woman speaks it in her waking life, hoping to find the man who shares the dreams. It was originally published in The New Yorker but you can read it here.

See you tomorrow!

Beat the Devil Home by K.I. Hope

by Barb Goffman


From Ride 2: More Short Fiction About Bicycles (Edited by Keith Snyder) (Typeflow, Inc. 2012)

This story falls squarely in literary fiction, and I’m not sure I’ll describe it properly, but here goes: The devil is always there, waiting for his opening, but the faster you pedal the easier you can escape him.

That description doesn’t do the story justice. You should read it.

Dert by Jon Billman

by Barb Goffman


From Ride 2: More Short Fiction About Bicycles (Edited by Keith Snyder) (Typeflow, Inc. 2012)

A bicycle-riding Mormon missionary comes to Oklahoma and gets caught in the winds of a wildfire.

Made With Extra Love by Kent Peterson

by Barb Goffman


From Ride 2: More Short Fiction About Bicycles (Edited by Keith Snyder) (Typeflow, Inc. 2012)

This is a lovely story about a widow and how she spends her time now that her husband is gone, doing things they did together, like gardening and biking. This description makes the story seem like not much, but it’s so very good in a quiet way – readable and calming and truly lovely.

Escape Velocity by S.J. Rozan

by Barb Goffman


From Ride 2: More Short Fiction About Bicycles (Edited by Keith Snyder) (Typeflow, Inc. 2012)

A story that’s hard to describe. For all his life, the unnamed main character craves speed, movement, escape – all of which he gets from cycling. When he enters a relationship with a woman who prompts him to adjust his lifestyle, he does, for a while, but only for a while, until his true self forces its way out.

“Natural Disasters” by Ronda Heard

by kattomic

“Natural Disasters” by Ronda Heard


Story 308/366

This is a the story of a mother forced to make a terrible choice. It’s a bit sentimental but Heard has chosen a life-affirming ending.You can read this story at Helium.

See you tomorrow!

“Night Walk” by Adam Haslett

by kattomic

“Night Walk” by Adam Haslett


Story 307/366

For some reason, the internal counter on this blog says I’ve only published 305 stories when I’ve published 306, so here’s a bonus story for election day.

This story was featured in New York Magazine’s political fiction issue and can be found here, along with other stories submitted by readers.  In the story, a troubled Barack Obama bums a smoke and contemplates Afghaniistan.

See you tomorrow!

“The Former First Lady and the Football Hero” by A.M. Homes

by kattomic

“The Former First Lady and the Football Hero” by A.M. Homes


Story 306/366

I do not remember where I first read this story, only that it really hit home and forever changed my view of Nancy Reagan. (Before I’d mostly seen her as a lollipop head in a red suit, most notable for her reliance on astrology and a “stand by your man” fidelity.) This story imagines how she might have coped with Ronnie as his mind disappeared into the fog of Alzheimer’s, one of the cruelest diseases out there. It is an amazing story. You can find it in Homes’ collection, Things You Should Know.

See you tomorrow when we’ll finally know who will be president for the next four years!

“Instructions for Divers: On Retrieval” by Ander Monson

by kattomic

“Instructions for Divers: On Retrieval” by Ander Monson


Story 304/366

This story appears in Monson’s collection Other Electricities. Like the others, it is set in Michigan.

See you tomorrow!