Tag Archives: Short Stories

7 Spooky Stories to Keep You in the Halloween Mood

Posted by Liz Verrastro, Fiction Section Head for issue 6.1

Halloween has just passed and it seems that with that, all the spooky energy has as well. Whether you dressed up as Wonder Woman, a clown, or someone from Game of Thrones for Halloween, nothing keeps the fun alive more than scary tales. If the success of the new film adaptation of Stephen King’s It is anything to go by, people love to be scared, so why not let the fun continue after Halloween has passed? Why else would there be a multi-million-dollar haunted house industry? Here are seven scary fiction pieces, perfect to keep the Halloween spirit alive even after the holiday has passed. Continue reading

Comments Off on 7 Spooky Stories to Keep You in the Halloween Mood

Filed under Blog

This Angel on My Chest: a Book Review

Posted by Erin Duffy, Public Relations Manager for issue 4.2 and CNF Editor for issue 4.1

2015 Drue Heinz Literature Prize winner Leslie Pietrzyk

2015 Drue Heinz Literature Prize winner Leslie Pietrzyk

It might be somewhat hyperbolic to suggest that Leslie Pietrzyk’s newest collection defies literary classification, but there are few, if any, categories into which it seamlessly fits. This Angel On My Chest is a collection of unrelated short fiction pieces that read like a cohesive novel, and each story borrows so heavily from Pietrzyk’s personal experiences that it’s impossible to tell fact from fiction. It’s an oddball of a book that nevertheless elicits myriad emotions from the reader. Though at times emotionally draining, each piece – the whole book, in fact – is a masterwork of craft and an utterly raw exploration of grief. Continue reading

Comments Off on This Angel on My Chest: a Book Review

Filed under Blog, Reviews

Karen Russell Presents Poised Reading

Posted by Nicole Sheldon, Fiction Reader for Issue 4.1

After a warm welcome from Professor Lytton Smith, visiting author Karen Russell took the stage in the MacVittie College Union Ballroom on Wednesday, October 14. Russell’s connection with the audience was instantaneous. From the moment she began reading her short story “Reeling for the Empire” from Vampires in the Lemon Grove, she had her audience’s rapt attention.  The story examines young Japanese women forced to grow silk inside of their bodies, and then reel the silk for kimonos. Fantastic and magical, this story celebrates female empowerment as the young women eventually stand up for the rights to their own bodies.

vampires-in-lemon-grove-jpgDuring the Q&A following her reading, Russell explained that setting is often an inspiration for her stories; she molds characters and a plot that she imagines would coincide with that particular setting. I found this surprising, yet inspiring. It reminded my of the literary journal The Common, which focuses on place and which we’ve been studying this semester in the Editing and Production Workshop.

Indeed, setting is a clear focus in “Reeling for the Empire,” as the story itself takes place in Japan, and largely in the small factory room in which the Japanese silk girls are entrapped. They have no way to escape the tiny living space or their life of producing silk. Russell captures the claustrophobic nature of the girls lives through her detailed description of the setting.

Near the end of the Q&A, Russell commented on the importance of endurance in writing and how revision is a strenuous, but vital aspect of writing. “Committing to radically revising something, that’s a big undertaking,” she admitted. She was honest, yet encouraging about the struggles of revision, and advised young writers to ask themselves during the revision process “Is this worth my time?” and “Am I interested?” Ultimately, this is what helps an author decide whether or not their piece is worthy of their endurance.

Karen Russell had an endearing and relatable sense of humor; she was eloquent and down-to-earth, and surprisingly humble given that she is an acclaimed author and winner of numerous awards, such as the MacArthur Fellowship and the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts. Russell didn’t pretend to be all knowing; she remained modest throughout the event, and was an inspiration to all in attendance.

Comments Off on Karen Russell Presents Poised Reading

Filed under Blog

GD 3.2 Preview: Featured Author Karin Lin-Greenberg

Two reviews of Karin Lin-Greenberg’s Faulty Predictions by GD staff members Sarah Diaz & Chrissy Montelli (see below). 

Written by Sarah Diaz, GD Poetry Reader for 3.2 & Poetry Editor for 3.1

A Review of Faulty Predictions: Stories by Karin Lin-Greenberg

As a self-proclaimed poet, I often find myself reluctant to read fiction. When I picked up Faulty Predictions, the genre ‘short fiction’ eased my concerns slightly, though I remained somewhat skeptical. The opening story of the collection, “Editorial Decisions” employs the first-person plural point-of-view and just like that, falling into the 2013 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction winner was easier done than said. The collection was published by the University of Georgia Press. Karin Lin-Greenberg received her MFA from University of Pittsburg, an MA from Temple University and an AB from Byrn Mawr College. Her work has appeared in literary journals such as Epoch, Kenyon Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Five Chapter among others. She is currently an assistant professor in the English Department at Siena College in upstate New York. Continue reading

Comments Off on GD 3.2 Preview: Featured Author Karin Lin-Greenberg

Filed under Uncategorized