Saturday 14 January 2017

Shorts on Sunday #3

My new Shorts on Sunday feature continues!

(Title links go to Goodreads pages where available.)

Saboteur by Ha Jin

Available: Best American Short Stories 1997 edited by Annie Proulx and Katrina Kenison

StoryA Chinese university lecturer and his bride are drinking tea in a square when a policeman provokes a confrontation and unjustly arrests him. He's thrown into a cell where his captors demand he sign a confession that he is a saboteur.

Why I'm recommendingHard to say too much without giving anything away - this is the shortest story I've included yet - but this is stunning and brilliantly written and plotted. The tension builds quickly - will the main character confess? - while the story looks at just how far people will go.

Mrs Dutta Writes A Letter by Chitra B. Divakaruni
Available: Online at The Atlantic

StoryAn Indian widow who has recently moved to live with her son and daughter-in-law with their children tries to respond to a letter from a friend back home asking if she's happy in America.

Why I'm recommendingThis is a moving and beautiful story of the culture shock experienced by Mrs Dutta, the differences between cultures and generations, and the conflict between duty and doing what's best for yourself. Definitely an author I'll be seeking out more from!

Complementary and Acute by Ella Lyons
Available: Free on Smashwords

Story: Anabelle has big plans for senior year, most of which involve her best friend and roommate Jac. But when Jac comes out as a lesbian and drops out of the Number Ninjas program they are part of, Anabelle has to figure out a few things herself.

Why I'm recommending: Gorgeously cute f/f love story. It's about 50 pages and so many swoons packed into a short novella! The romance is super-sweet but I also really like the way Ella Lyons writes friendships between her lead characters as well. 

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