Katherine Taylor, "Crying and Smoking"

Tough times for good friends.

(from Southwest Review, vol. 89, #4)

“That was the January everyone in New York was faking cheerfulness.”
Set in the winter after 9/11, but never referencing it outright, this sharp, cozy story isn’t paranoid or cynical or deadpan philosophical like some other stories set in that time period. That would be easier than this humane approach, which is all about small gestures, and day-to-day worries. The two friends at the center are not exactly me, and not much like my friends, but I can tell you their dialogue and thought processes and priorities are dead on. They are wanting but not whining, smart but maybe unchallenged, prizes currently unappreciated. They are my age, my peers, my peeps. We are underused.

This story, indeed the entire issue of Southwest Review, was sent to me by Katherine Taylor herself, and I am very appreciative. This story made my night. You know nothing makes I Read A Short Story Today happier than a recommendation. Love ‘em. Even though I sometimes I have a lot of trouble tracking them down.

If you want to know, I didn’t do much posting recently because a cover story at work was waging war against me. You can find it here. (Link expires far too soon.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>