Last Saturday, I went to a wonderful bbq with about a dozen writers and talk turned to books (I know, real shocker). Our post-grad “to read” pile is growing. Now I have even more to add. The Pulitzers were announced yesterday. Here’s the list and the winner for fiction is Olive Kittridge, a collection of short stories. Plague of Doves was the runner-up.
Shoot, I just got around to last year’s winner!
Have to admit, I’ve not been a big fan of short stories, but that is slowly changing. I still prefer the experience of getting lost in a novel. As I wrote in a recent annotation on Johnston’s Corpus Christi, I find short stories demanding, requiring concentration. They are not a relaxing art form. I have found that once I started reading books to see what authors were doing, the process moved – logically – from unconscious influence to purposeful learning. I no longer had to worry about my writing sounding like someone else’s because I could look at the nuts and bolts of what they were up to and choose to use elements or not.
By the way, I want to start getting a commission on Kindle sales – just showed it off to the doctor who injected my sore shoulder (blessed relief) and he’s getting one for his wife. This is probably the sixth one I’ve sold in the last 10 days. Pony up, Amazon.