Cortazar at his most charming, repressingly banal. Plus, the best short story about dog-sitting. “AT YOUR SERVICE” by Julio Cortazar
Esp. People Like That Are the Only People Here. And Terrific Mother. Nobody like her, really. BIRDS OF AMERICA by Lorrie Moore.
Takes me back to my adolescence, car-trips, being stuck with parents and being happy. “CHURCH CANCELS COW” by Amy Hempel.
The daughterly ruminations during an eerie commute to work. Biting humor and a sense of loss. “A DREAM OF MEN” by Mary Gaitskill
“Look, boys, it ever strike you that the world not real at all?” Port of Spain, Trinidad’s capital. MIGUEL STREET by V. S. Naipaul.
Hugely influential and stunning to read for the first time.Possibly, the first dystopian short story. “THE LOTTERY” by Shirley Jackson.
Sparkling, incisive dialogue. None of that oblique mysterious crap at the end of her stories. NOTHING RIGHT: STORIES by Antonya Nelson.