I once read a short story about a kid in New York. I was exposed to it in one of my college courses on the short story form, so it wasn't something I randomly stumbled upon. It was the sort of story that would probably be taught to neophytes studying the form. I can't recall if it was in our Norton anthology (don't think so; I've checked through anthologies from that era) or a copy packet. The bare facts: Brooklyn kid, I think; lived in a Brownstone; at the age when it was time to make a decision about college or work; listened to a Giants (baseball) game on the radio; lazed about in his room thinking; went for a walk (maybe at night?) because he had a big decision to make; feels to me now like the sort of thing that would have been written in the 40s or 50s.
I've been wanting to reread this story for 15 years. Finally got around to writing this out and seeking the assistance of Ask Metafilter. Can anyone help?
posted by samizdat
on Jan 14, 2014 -
I heard a story (fiction) on the radio a few years ago and I'd like to find out what it was called and who wrote it. It was most likely presented on the show "Selected Shorts" but I'm not certain about that. The story took place in a town where everything seemed normal except that a black shape appeared one day in the sky overhead. Slowly over time the black shape fills the sky until the horizon is covered. A married couple are at the center of the story - there's more about their relationship than this thing in the sky. I think the sky-thing is a metaphor for something unspoken that dominates our fears. The characters barely react to it's presence (I think.) Anyone out there know this story?
posted by cellura p
on Nov 18, 2013 -
What novels and short stories do a good job of depicting television? Mostly I'm interested in characters watching TV, but I'll also accept answers like 1984
—where (a slightly different version of) TV plays a major role in the plot.
posted by Hoenikker
on Sep 8, 2013 -
So I remember reading this short story once. It was about the pope and he had some kind of an infected toe. And it made him ornery and unforgiving. And then at some point the toe bursts, he feels better, it bloodies his slipper (which he doesn't change) and then he just starts forgiving everyone and everything.
Does this ring any bells for anyone?
posted by rileyray3000
on Aug 30, 2013 -
If anyone recognises this story, please can you tell me the author? I think the story is about five years old. An ordinary man with low self-esteem is dumped by his beautiful intelligent accomplished girlfriend. She gives him a dog as a pity present, with a snide subtext that the dog is better than he is. Gradually through caring for the dog, a magnificent Alsation, and taking pride in it, the man recovers his self-esteem and becomes sought-after. It's a story that feels as if it has a lot of undercurrents and as if it's not as simple as it looks: in some way the dog stands in for the guy, or represents the guy or becomes a totem for him. Or something.
posted by glasseyes
on Mar 3, 2013 -
Can you help me identify a 25+ year-old short story that describes someone unable to cross a city street? [more inside]
posted by argonauta
on Nov 13, 2012 -
What's the story where the guy talks to a bunch of dead people and then finds out he's dead? [more inside]
posted by nzero
on Sep 15, 2012 -
Help me find two pieces of literature I read about thirty years ago, one a short story, the other a poem. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan
on Mar 9, 2012 -
I am looking for the title and author of a short story about an alien abduction. The abduction itself was a major plot twist-- the story was about a farmer, but very abruptly, the farmer is abducted.
posted by jstef
on Dec 15, 2011 -
ShortStoryFilter: In one of my undergrad Spanish Lit. classes, I remember reading a short story about a man who had supported the feminist struggle with his wife and had greatly benefited from women's 'liberation'. His wife gets a high paying job and he eventually either loses or quits his job and (happily) never works again. After he loses his job his life becomes carefree, he has time for friends again now that their wives are 'liberated,' while his wife comes home from work exhausted everyday. Does this ring a bell to anyone?
posted by ReWayne
on Aug 5, 2011 -
What is the name of this really disturbing science fiction short story? (potentially NSFW description) [more inside]
posted by brundlefly
on Jun 25, 2010 -
Please help me remember the title and author of a short story I read maybe 15 years ago. A handicapped woman, living with her sister and her sister's family, sees a man in church she feels quite sure is the devil. In order to get away from him, she struggles to regain the physical independence she had given up. (She had gone into a wheelchair because walking was possible, but too painful.) She does manage to become self-sufficient enough to move out on her own--and then wonders if it was worth it, after all. I am almost sure the author was Italian. Can anyone help?
posted by uans
on Nov 16, 2009 -
Name this short story about an immigrant student working as a babysitter for an American professor. [more inside]
posted by Bizurke
on Sep 9, 2009 -
Short Story Askme: I read a short dystopian story many years ago set in a run-down, post apocalyptic future. A queue of people line up on a street to spit at a painting. The painting represents all the problems of the past. It is implied that the painting is The Mona Lisa. What is the story?
posted by bollockovnikov
on Sep 25, 2008 -
What are some good short stories in which time passes extremely quickly? [more inside]
posted by whir
on Sep 1, 2008 -
Help me identify this short story! It is a story told from the perspective of an infant as he is free-falling through the garbage chute of a multi-level housing complex after being discarded by his teenage mother. The story is divided into nine parts, with each part signifying the baby's arrival at each floor until he finally reaches the trash compactor at the ground level. [more inside]
posted by sansgras
on Jan 16, 2008 -
Short Story Filter:
I'm trying to track down a wonderful short story I read maybe 15 years ago. It focuses on a couple struggling with a dysfunctional marital and/or sexual relationship. The story is set somewhere in a snowy/icy climate, and the central conceit of the story is that the husband needs to free their car which is stuck in the snow. As the story unfolds, the author describes the back-and-forth rocking of the car as he slams it from "drive" into "reverse" and back again, and it becomes clear that the movement of the car is a powerful sexual metaphor. Finally the car rolls free and the dramatic release seems to provide hope for the relationship.
Does this sound familiar to anybody? I thought the title of the story was "Unstuck," but Googling has led me nowhere.
posted by AngerBoy
on Dec 11, 2007 -
Do you recognize this short story, possibly written by David Mamet? A Japanese couple scrimps and saves so they can incrementally improve their lives, and they go to a shopping mall/set of stores for fun, where they purchase candies/cookies that look like 1000 or 10000 or 1000000 yen. (More inside.) [more inside]
posted by Slap Factory
on Jun 20, 2007 -
ScienceFictionfilter: Suggestions for gift subscriptions of science fiction magazines, journals printed in English and dead tree format [more inside]
posted by jadepearl
on Jun 18, 2007 -
ShortStoryFilter: Looking for a short story where Americans go on vacation and get killed. [more inside]
posted by mwang1028
on May 6, 2007 -
I remember a friend of mine telling me about a short story/novel/novella about a baseball pitcher whose pitched balls disappeared after leaving his hand, only to reappear in a totally different place and kill someone. There's [more inside]
posted by reenum
on Nov 22, 2006 -
The Postal Service song "We Will Become Silhouettes" reminds me of a short story (or maybe poem?) I read in high school, but I can't remember the name or author for the life of me. I believe the action centered around an automated house going through its daily routine after the inhabitants had been vaporized on its side. There was also something about birds singing... I think. Any ideas?
posted by pokermonk
on Oct 12, 2006 -
Short story filter--does anyone know the title and author of a short story that's written entirely in the form of personal checks? The idea of the whole thing is to kind of read between the lines and figure out what is going on by who the person is writing checks to, for what amount, what's in the memo line, etc. A teacher friend would like to know. I remember seeing this but have no idea where to look. Thanks!
posted by printchick
on Jul 24, 2006 -
Has anyone written and published very brief, dense prose works akin to Borges' ficciones
, and are they any good? [more inside]
posted by jack_mo
on May 16, 2006 -
Can you name short stories, preferably from the classics, about a birthday? [more inside]
posted by dov
on Apr 13, 2006 -
StoryFinderFilter: Please help me find a short story that describes the homecoming of an older Shakespeare to Anne Hathaway's house. Only Shakespeare isn't Shakespeare, and the wife notices . . . [more inside]
posted by amber_dale
on May 9, 2005 -
What with the Archbishop of Canterbury on the point of being vanquished by plain old Doubt
(not that it was much of a contest in Rowan Williams's case) I was reminded of a drama I once read as a book and later saw as a TV screenplay. An abbot of a particular monastery has secretly lost his faith, and so does not wish to lead the brothers in prayer; he always gets someone else to do this, to avoid a personal spiritual crisis caused by having to pray publicly to, as he sees it, nothing. The Catholic hierarchy of that future time, unbeknownst to him, has become entirely atheist. An agent of the curia is sent to force the abbot to the point of a self-destroying confrontation with his unbelief. The agent achieves this by manipulating him into a situation where he can't avoid being the one to lead the assembled brothers in a public prayer.
Can anyone tell me what this thing is that I remember? Title and author are entirely gone. Thanks!
posted by jfuller
on Jan 6, 2005 -