Saturday, August 11, 2007
The Story Behind the Story: 26 Stories by Contemporary Writers and How They Work is a wonderfully diverse collection of knock-out short fiction. Each story is followed by comments from the author on how the story came about. “City Codes” by (Mr.) Tracy Daugherty, director of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Oregon State University, is one of my favorites. A funny story with an underlying current (or two) of sober reality checks wins me over every time. There are so many gems in this book by phenomenal writers (I’ll return to Charles Baxter’s “The Old Fascist in Retirement” many times) who also happen to have taught on the faculty of the renowned Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers in Asheville NC, which Peter Turchi directs. The works here remind me of the fantastic fiction published on a regular basis by Glimmer Train Stories, my favorite literary magazine.