Deb Olin Unferth, "La Peña"

A couple hikes up the mountain and hopes find Cokes and candles there.

(from Minor Robberies)

Quick and mysterious, this story doesn’t let you know it too well, but you’re satisfied when it’s over, nonetheless. It’s like a parable, with no discernible moral, a joke with no corny punchline. Nice.

Minor Robberies is a part of a strange little three-book set — which may be called One Hundred and Forty Five Stories In A Small Box — of tiny sudden flash short short mini midi fiction by Dave Eggers, Sarah Manguso and Unferth (who, I believe, is a frequent collaborator with Beowulf). The collection was $25, which is a lot, maybe, but I had a good feeling about it. I need more shorties in my life, something to keep in my backpack (or pocket, though the books are hardcover) for those brief moments of unexpected downtime. Plus, I’m still reading What is the What, and I’m developing a hunger for all things Eggers. The book is so good.

ALSO Matt Bell, whose site I check out every so often, has a page of things of other writers (besides himself) and, wow, it’s an amazing list of links to great short stories (and mp3s of short stories, and essays, and more). It’s sort of like a big all-star litmag or something: George Saunders, Aimee Bender, Chuck Palahniuk, Etger Keret, lots and lots.

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