The short story’s not dead
Michael Schaub has a complimentary Bookslut review of Laura van den Berg’s story collection What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us. I’ve not read it, but it sounds like one to pick up — comparisons to Lorrie Moore, Alice Munro, and Julie Orringer are not to be made lightly.
My favorite part of the review, though, is the introductory paragraph, about the supposed death of the short story. It’s brilliant. Here you go, little ones:
If you read enough articles about the state of literature and the publishing industry, you probably (a) drink heavily, out of necessity, and (b) have encountered at least a dozen “think” pieces about the death of the short story. These articles are written, chiefly, by longtime beat journalists who are contractually obligated to proclaim the death of something at least once a year, and who also, in all likelihood, drink heavily, out of necessity. Sure, you could throw some names at them — Lorrie Moore, Alice Munro, T. C. Boyle, Adam Haslett — but if you did, they’d probably just run away. Not just because they’d be embarrassed, but because they probably have a deadline coming up, for another “think” piece on the future of publishing in the age of the Kindle or something. “The death of the short story” is the book journalism equivalent of “The death of rock and roll” or “The death of the documentary” — writers who are constantly predicting it should either be ignored or told to fuck off, depending on how confrontational you are.