This month's five stories feature animals who are integral to the story. These are of the straight realism genre so there will be a follow-up with stories featuring more surrealism. Here are Sarah Orne Jewett, P G Wodehouse, R L Maizes, Parashar Kulkarni, and R O Kwon with stories about cats, dogs, herons, and cows.
My latest book review is of an anthology translated from Urdu to English, edited by Dr Rakhshanda Jalil. Preeto and Other Stories comprises of 13 short stories written by male Urdu writers and examining the male gaze in contemporary Urdu fiction. Through these short stories about women, we see how male Urdu writers have viewed women and their place in society. I've often said and written how many male writers — both in the East and in the West — struggle to depict women well in fiction. It's hard enough for women writers to do justice to all that is unsaid
This month's short story selections are up at PopMatters. Here are stories from Lucia Berlin, Na'am al-Baz, Mia Alvar, Hananah Zaheer, and Laura van den Berg — all looking at working women, whether white-collar, blue-collar, or the gig economy.