The kids don’t understand politics and death and nobody’s explaining it very well.
(from The Paris Review, Summer, 2005)
This one’s a shorti, as we might say here in Philly. It’s a lot like that Eggers one I read recently, because it’s about dealing with the disconnect of televized events and trying to make sense of them. But it’s not only about that. You spend the first two-thirds of the story thinking this is about wide-eyed, mischievous, curious little kids. Turns out they’re twisted little monsters. So much for hope for the next generation. I believe that children are the future killers.
I’m not seeking the shortest stories out, I’m arriving at them by accident. I picked this one because the author came recommended by a friend who, when she sets her mind to it, can recommend about 100 authors at a time. So I think she said Etgar Keret, but maybe not. I’d thought I’d heard Edgar Carrot at the time. He’s probably not a real person.
Two New Orleans writers I have read for I Read A Short Story Today, Pia Z. Ehrhardt and Poppy Z. Brite — you may recall me pitting them against each other for no good reason — are writing interesting things about returning to the city they love after the hurricane. I think you’ll dig the way PZE tugs at your heart with poetic observations. I think you’ll also enjoy the way PZB is brutal and beautiful and a little bit psycho. Both blogs are intimate and earnest — a personal perspective you might be missing out on now that media has receded with the floodwaters.
“Across the street from our house, someone’s dumped a black refrigerator, bound it tight with silver duct tape. It’s going to be a long time before I take twice weekly garbage pickup for granted again.”
—Pia Z. Ehrhardt. Here‘s the link.
“We slept in the old house on our first night, which was creepy: it’s definitely haunted, not by ghosts but by our old lives that will never exist again.”
—Poppy Z. Brite. Here‘s the link.