Monday, August 30, 2010

Ron Rash on the Daunting Challenge of Writing Short Stories

In the 35th in a series of posts on 2010 short story collections entered for The Story Prize, poet, novelist and short story writer Ron Rash, author of Burning Bright (Ecco), explains why he finds the last of these the most difficult to pull off.

Because I write poems, novels, and stories, I’m sometimes asked which genre I find most challenging. My answer is the short story, because for a short story to work it must have concision akin to a poem yet also a novel’s sense of a whole life revealed. It is a daunting challenge, but when it is achieved, as in a story such as O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard To Find,” concision and breadth are seamlessly interwoven, and the reader is given a singular artistic experience.