Fun With A Stranger by Richard Yates

Some short stories exist mainly as character studies. Fun With A Stranger by American author Richard Yates is one example.  The story paints a portrait of a particular kind of old-fashioned school teacher. The reader feels empathy for everyone involved,, from the young pupils to the teacher herself. STORY NOTES A man retells what it was …

Something Childish But Very Natural by Katherine Mansfield

“Something Childish But Very Natural” is a short story by Katherine Mansfield, published 1914. The story is named after a poem Harry reads in the book-stall. The poem is by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The poem provides in a nutshell the emotional arc of Mansfield’s story: Had I but two little wings, And were a little …

Tricks by Alice Munro

Ah, I have a soft spot for short stories about spinsters about town, enjoying their passions in solitary fashion. “Tricks” by Alice Munro calls to mind Katherine Mansfield’s “Miss Brill”, especially after mention of the symbolic scarf: Miss Brill, you may recall, wears a fur. Robin of Munro’s story “Tricks” does not; she is instead …