For those of you following along, I had been posting a monthly short stories column here for the last 1.5 years. It has now transitioned over to the PopMatters website. You can read it here.
This month’s theme is ‘Souvenirs’ — the things we collect throughout our lives and why. All three short stories (see below) are free to read online, as always. I have added annotations/notes on the theme and each story too.
1/ ‘Everyday Use’ by Alice Walker is a classic story about a heritage souvenir.
2/ ‘The Things They Carried’ by Tim O’Brien is an award winner and about wartime souvenirs.
3/ ‘The World Is A Desert’ by Lori Sambol Brody is a relatively new story, published in The Rumpus last year, and about a travel souvenir.
What I liked the most about these stories, beyond how well they used the souvenir object as a plot device, are the distinct and different voices of each narrator — the old mother in the Walker story, the war-weary soldier in the O’Brien, and the precocious teenage daughter in the Brody.
Pair this with my review of Rolf Potts’ terrific book, Souvenir (Object Lessons).