Meghan Kenny, "The Driest Season"

Cielle is the only one who knows her father is dead, but doesn’t know how to break the news.

(from The Iowa Review, vol. 35, #3)

An anxious, heartbreaking story. So much pain, confusion and tactile imagery packed into so few pages. It’s an engaging, quick read with no happy ending, because that would be utterly impossible. Unless it was all a dream sequence — a possibility than popped into my head — but, yeah, the author knows better than that. This story won first prize in the Iowa Review awards (see?).

* * *

Okay. That’s it for January here at I Read A Short Story Today. The month started out slow, but as soon as I got a few big projects off my back, reading time gently reappeared.
Here’s the month in numbers:

14 stories (11 by women, 3 by men)
14 stories by Americans (as near as I can tell; I’m not carding)
8 stories from literary magazines
13 stories set mostly in North America
2 stories with opening sentences about dead/dying parents
3 dead parents total
1 story with recently adapted in short film form
1 story also read aloud by the author
1 really excellent unreliable narrator (see “The Shared Patio,” by Miranda July)
2 with overt sexual themes
1 story mailed to me by its author (and which I got to belatedly)
1 dinosaur
1 magic pie-hole
1 hockey story

So: I’m reading more women, which was a conscious thing at the start of the month. Now it looks my my subconscious is hooked. I should make more of an effort to read international stories. I mean, I bought a New Yorker issue dedicated to that and everything. Most of my January stories were pretty short, too. I should get into a habit of settling down with some more substantial pieces.
Despite the fact that I’m more of a Borders guy, I went and purchased one of those Barnes & Noble discount cards. There was some deal going on and I got talked into it. It’ll end up saving me money ($17 for the card, 10% off per visit), but I think I’ll still go to Borders because I like the way they arrange their magazines. If you’re somebody I know and you need to buy periodicals or unused books, lemme come with you. It might save you money.
Oh yeah, I added a little site meter, at the bottom left there.

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