Book report #16 (2018)

There is No Long Distance Now: Very Short Stories, by Naomi Shihab Nye. Pub 2011

This is the second book I’ve read by this author (last year I read her quasi-essays “I’ll Ask You Three Times: Are You OK?”). This one is just as quirky as the first, but very different as well.

After an external prompt, the author challenged herself to write a series of short stories, each 1,000 words or less. The result is an eclectic group of stories that read like true glimpses of real life. Some are expansive, some intimate, some funny, some tragic – all are well written and interesting and compelling. Each story also stands on its own, so the book is great for reading in little snippets rather than in one big sitting. That also allows for the most recently read stories to swirl around the brain a bit, savouring some of the moments and emotions.

Nye is better known as a poet, and while her style is somewhat lyrical in places, it doesn’t tend too much to the poetic but still includes beautiful phrases that evoke the people and places. She has written some novels, too, so I might try one of those as a future read.

7. A book by a female author.

18. A book of short stories.

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