Saturday, January 21, 2017

Free and Footloose reads: part two

As a follow-up to part one, and in the pause before part three, gorge thyself on more fabulous, freely available works of fiction and non-fiction (and the occasional sly poem):

Short Stories
  • Do You Hear What I'm Saying? by Kori Waring. Blown sideways by this burning, beautiful, unbearable story. 
  • The Half-Skinned Steer, by Ann Proulx. chilled and awed all over again.
  • Idioglossia, by Eimear Ryan. Read this. Read it now. Then immediately re-read it, for all the unshown, unsaid, only shadowed.
  • A Small Fortune, by Roberta George. The filament of fear, the switchback, hilt-deep turns.
  • The Boy Who Was Born under a Comet, by Benjamin Myers. A piercing story, both unexpected and inevitable, shadowed by all that might have been.
  • All That Glisters, by Anne Donovan. Closely-held but frank; a gently balanced, glittering work.
  • Dido's Lament, by Tessa Hadley. Such an achingly honest dissection of old wounds, the selves we hold up for others.
  • Painted Black, by Joanna Cannon. Heart-struck by this stripped back, darkly flowered piece.
  • The Weak Spot, by Sophie Mackintosh. Clever, cutting capsize of our expectations, featuring murderous teens and teeth.
  • The Names of Things, C. G. Menon. A tender-rough delight of language and discomfort.
  • Ministry of the Interior, by Louise Kennedy. So finely worked, each piece arranged to quiet, restrained effect. 
  • Fascicle 41, by Anna McGrail. The striking, deserved winner of The London Magazine competition.
  • The Phosphorescence, by Nicholas Ruddock. A tense, breathless, headlong read.
  • Cow and Company, by Parashar Kulkarni. Whip-smart satirical office politics as never before imagined.
  • Help Me Follow My Sister into the Land of the Dead, by Ursula Ruiz. An engaging new twist on the bones of a story.
  • The King’s Teacup at Rest, by Michael Andreasen. Surreal, strangely affecting story on abandoned fairgrounds, loneliness and fealty.
  • The Swimmer, by John Cheever. Prepare to be left chilled, bereft, in exile from yourself.
  • Say You, by Sara Collins. "The story of any island is the story of men, arriving." An immersive, rung-true tale, anchored by surprising turns of language. 
  • Children’s Stories Made Horrific: Curious George, by Mallory Ortberg. For everything The Toast is and was. And for peeling back the skin of childhoods, for what wriggles beneath.
  • Bartleby, the Scrivener, by Herman Melville. The classic's classic, ever worth rereading.
  • Open Water, by Abigail Rose. "For his fourteenth birthday, Jago’s father gave him the ocean." A tenacious, salt-rimed tale.
  • Bonus: listen to the shortlisted stories for the Caine Prize and the Francis MacManus competition.
Flash Fiction
Non fiction
  • A Demonstration by Jessica Traynor. "For what are women really but children themselves, living and dying without reason?" An urgent, beautiful piece.
  • Two Deaths, by Claire Askew. A fierce, piercing, physically affecting piece.
  • Good bones, by Maggie Smith. Over and over, I return to this.

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