Short Stories worth a Shout
- Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. Won the Pulitzer in 2000.
- The Stories of John Cheever won the Pulitzer in 1979. Before Alice Munro, Cheever was pretty much considered the master. His story The Swimmer appeared in the 1979 anthology, although it was first published in 1964 and made into a movie (same name) in 1968. It’s one I really want to see. It wasn’t a big hit at the time but has achieved cult-status. Re-released in 2014, it won Best Overall Blu-Ray DVD. It stars Burt Lancaster and a few other stars of old: Joan Rivers (in her debut), Janice Rule, Diana Muldaur. The director, Frank Perry, went on to make films like Diary of a Mad Housewife and Mommie Dearest.
- Chicxulub by T.C. Boyle is one of my favorite stories of all time. It packs an unbelievable punch. I was lucky enough to hear Boyle speak in Dallas a number of years ago. I told him that particular story had turned me on to his other work, and he told me about the time he read it aloud to a huge audience. You could have heard a pin drop–and then a huge collective gasp, and one woman screamed. It was published in The New Yorker, and you can read it on-line.
- The films referred to in the blog were based on short stories by these authors: Daphne du Maurier: The Birds, Andre Dubus: Killings became In the Bedroom, Annie Proulx: Brokeback Mountain, Philip K. Dick: Minority Report, F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- Novellas (short novels) are longer than the typical short story, but publishers don’t much care for them either. However, some of them have been turned into great movies. One of my favorites, The Shawshank Redemption, is based on Stephen King’s novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. Another of his novellas, Apt Pupil, became a movie. And the oldie but goody film Goodbye, Columbus, which starred Ali McGraw and Richard Benjamin was based on Philip Roth’s novella.
- For fans of Hilary Mantel (from the book, TV or stage productions of Wolf Hall), there’s her short story collection The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: Stories