Four Stories I Loved Reading: July 12 – 18

Every week, I’ll introduce four stories that I loved, that stayed with me, that took me somewhere new.

A Stream of Prayer by Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar in Citron Review
“When my family in India sleeps, I recite Aayat-e-Karima, a verse from the Quran, counting the repetitions on my phalanges–to maintain an unbroken stream of prayer across time zones…”
This story of saying goodbye is simultaneously timeless and absolutely of our time. The narrator is both with her aunt and so far away it’s heartbreaking. (Fun fact: that’s my partner in the photo holding the carrot pickles he just made.)

The Corner of My Eye by Doris Cheng in Lost Balloon
“I saw Meredith at breakfast today. It had been two, maybe three years since I’d seen her–really looked at her, that is…”
Stories mean different things to everyone who reads them. For me, this story brought back every moment I was absolutely sure I saw my mom striding down the street with confidence and joy in the year after she died. In the best possible way.

Goodbye, Piano by Megan Giddings in matchbook
“We smashed the piano with a sledgehammer out on the front yard. It wasn’t that we hated it or wanted to teach it a lesson…”
This story felt so real to me that I was amazed to get to the end and find that it was fiction. I’ve just gotten Megan’s book, Lakewood, and I bet it’s going to feel just the same.

The Evolution of Birds by Sara Hills with Ad Hoc Fiction
I’m waiting for Sara Hills’ flash fiction collection, The Evolution of Birds, to wing its way from the UK to Canada. But yesterday I attended the book launch, and heard a story which begins with a woman finding a baby and then NEVER goes anywhere the reader expects.

Join me next week, for four more fantastic stories.