The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden cover Graham Rust

The Secret Garden is a novel by British-American Frances Hodgson Burnett, originally published in serialised form in America between 1910-11, the end of the Edwardian era in England. We now consider this a story for children, probably because the main characters are children. Surprising to me: this story was originally aimed at an adult readership.……

The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick Short Story Analysis

Jessie MacGregor - In the Reign of Terror 1891 baby cradle

The Shawl (1980) is a short story by American writer Cynthia Ozick, born 1928. In 2014, Joyce Carol Oates joined Deborah Treisman at The New Yorker to read and discuss Ozick’s story. This horrific short story reminds me most of a narrative from another side of the same war: Grave of the Fireflies. Both are……

Foes by Lorrie Moore Short Story Analysis

Illustration by Arthur Rackham: "The Snow Queen" by Hans Christian Andersen - Rackham had a particular love for fairy tales, and he revered those of Hans Christian Andersen to the extent that he thought they had been "so beautifully told that no one yet wished to improve or edit a single word."

“Foes” is a short story by American writer Lorrie Moore. The Guardian published it on the eve of the election which would see Obama to the presidency, and can be read in full here. It is also in Bark and in Collected Stories. This is such an American story, so Americans will have a more……

Dance In America by Lorrie Moore Short Story Analysis

Rauschenberg painting

“Dance In America” is a short story by Lorrie Moore and can be found in the collection Birds Of America, published in 1998. Find it also in The Collected Short Stories. “Dance In America” first appeared in The New Yorker in 1993. Louise Erdrich reads Lorrie Moores short story “Dance in America” and discusses Moore……

Bravado by William Trevor Short Story Analysis

Bravado by William Trevor

If you think you’re too old to write about contemporary young characters, take your cue from Irish short story master William Trevor, who wrote “Bravado”, about young people and night-clubbing culture, at almost 80 years of age. Note that the story is not set when he himself was young, but in the mid noughties. William……

Cry Heart, But Never Break by Glenn Ringtved and Charlotte Pardi Analysis

Cry Heart But Never Break cover 2

Cry Heart, But Never Break is a picture book to help children process their grief. The book was first published in Denmark in 2001, then translated into English by Robert Moulthrop five years later. The story is beautifully illustrated by Danish artist Charlotte Pardi. I recommend this book for children of all ages dealing with……

The Grim Reaper In Art And Storytelling

The Man with the Scythe exhibited 1896 Henry Herbert La Thangue 1859-1929 SLEEP AS A MINI DEATH Adventures In Sleep from All In The Mind podcast Scientists still don’t know why we need to sleep. Contrast that lack of full understanding with nutrition science, in which we fully understand why animals need to eat, how……