MAY IS SHORT STORY MONTH

I haven’t read a good book of short stories since receiving Jennifer Egan’s Emerald City two Christmases ago. So, in honor of National Short Story Month, I selected a book of short stories, Dreams Underfoot, by Charles de Lint that had been donated to me for my Little Free Library to read for the occasion. I was attracted to the cover which showed a pale, strange-looking young woman, barefoot, levitating above a coastal shore. It turned out to be, as the cover advertised, full of “myth, music, and magic.”

It is a book of urban fantasy or urban legends about otherworldly creatures who live among us in our villages, cities, and towns. Described as “neither a novel or a simple gathering of short stories…it is a cycle of urban myths and dreams, of passions and sorrows, romance and force woven together to create  a tapestry of interconnected dramas, interconnected lives–[a] kind of magic…” The author’s style is poetical and magical–“twilight dreams [woven out of ] language and music.” Characters appear and disappear, popping up in one story, then another like old friends walking through the mists and fogs of our reading. It is not just escape reading but “deep mythic literature of our time.” The words and phrases and the unique characters: Jilly, the artist who “believes in magic;” Professor Bramley and his manservant Goon, a gnomelike figure; and the inhabitants of the music clubs, waterfronts, and alleyways of “… anywhere, anywhen… ” exist together in a time and place which suspends the reader’s imagination and beliefs with an otherworldly effect.  One doesn’t just read the book, she experiences it.

Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

2 thoughts on “MAY IS SHORT STORY MONTH”

  1. I just finished my first book of short stories in years. I read “The Boatman and other Stories” by Billie O’Callaghan. It was dark, tragic and very emotional. He is an extremely descriptive writer and although I enjoyed his writing and plotting, the stories were very tragic. I guess I finished one day too early. I will have to read another one later in the month.

    Liked by 1 person

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