Sunday, May 31, 2009

Updike at the Beach: Short Story Collections on Summer Reading Lists

We're happy to see that several short story collections have made summer reading lists. The Wall Street Journal Web site lists three: John Updike's posthumous collection, My Father's Tears, Jean Thomspon's Do Not Deny Me, and James Lasdun's It's Beginning to Hurt. I haven't read any of these yet but have high hopes for the Thompson and Lasdun books because I've admired their previous collections. (We won't be reading Updike's collection for The Story Prize because only books by living writers are eligible, sad as it is to say this.)

As a side note, The Journal calls all ten of it's fiction picks "novels" and mistakenly states that this is Lasdun's debut collection. In fact, his first was Delerium Eclipse in 1987 (published, I believe, as The Silver Age in the U.K. in 1985). Despite these errors, however, it's the thought that counts, and short story collections on The Journal's list are sure to come to the attention of more readers.

Elsewhere, NPR critic Alan Cheuse, includes Daniyal Mueunuddin's In Other Rooms, Other Wonders among his seven summer picks. This, I have read, and can highly recommend. It definitely lives up to the excellent reviews it has received.

So this summer, grab a short story collection to take along to the beach or the mountains (or, in my case, the NJ Transit's Montclair-Boonton line).