A tip of the hat to my Canuck colleague, Alice Munro, for getting tapped for the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Of all our Canadian writers, she deserves it most. I'm not a big fan of awards (baubles and trinkets to dazzle the proles) but the good thing about this one is that Ms. Munro worked almost exclusively in the short story format, an art form much devalued these days.
In a rush-rush world, lots of zipping about and commuting, waiting rooms and subway platforms, cabs and buses, no time to browze a full-length novel...isn't a short story the perfect fit? When was the last time you tried one on for size?
Because despite the marketplace for short fiction drying up, there are still brilliant writers turning their hand at a (nearly) lost art. Authors like Jim Shepard, George Saunders and Ken Kalfus. Two recent compilations by Wells Tower and Benjamin Cavell blew me away. One of my favorite story collections is Rock Springs by Richard Ford--the title tale is perfect.
So when you say "Short stories? Never read 'em", you're revealing a giant hole in your literary education. You are missing out on some of the best prose ever committed to paper and you only have yourself to blame.
But it's an oversight that can be easily remedied...
Causes Cliff Burns Supports
The Stephen Lewis Foundation, Community Radio