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The Short Story Book Club meets on the Last Wednesday of every month 7:00 – 8:00 PM.

For more information about the Short Story Book Club, please contact Bridget Cooley at or call 978-674-1548.

Upcoming Discussions

December’s Theme – Perspective – Wednesday, December 27th at 7:00 pm

Poor Dear Margaret Kirby by Kathleen Norris
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
Growing Down by Shel Silverstein
Crazy Glue by Etgar Keret

Previous Discussions – 2023

November’s Theme – Friendship (Good and Bad)

Oscar Wilde, ‘The Devoted Friend
Saki, ‘Fur
Grace Paley, ‘Friends
Raymond Carver, ‘Where I’m Calling From

October’s Theme – Spooky Season
Selfie by Lavie Tidhar
The Yellow Ranch by Kali Fajardo Anstine
Haunted by Harris Tobias
The Landlady by Roald Dahl

September’s Theme – Hispanic Writers
The Fifth Story – Clarice Lispector
The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
My Life with the Wave by Octavio Paz
Eleven by Sandra Cisneros
The Jacket by Gary Soto

August’s Theme – Selection from social media with the hashtag #longreads
“The Great Escape” by Hilma Wolitzer (Electric Lit)
“Witness” by Jamel Brinkley (Lithub)
“Prophets” by Brandon Taylor (Joyland)

July’s Theme – Greater Lowell Writers – writings that appeared in The Lowell Review past editions
Dancing with Bette Davis’ Daughter – James Provencher
The Standing Approach by Emilie-Noelle Provost
A Man You Don’t Meet Everyday by Stephen O’Connor
Bebe and Me by Louise Peloquin

June’s Theme – Summer
Jellyfish by Anna Towers
Certain European Movies by Emma Cline
We Wave and Call by Jon McGregor
A Virginia Barbeque by John M. Duncan
Thomas Jefferson’s Ice Cream Recipe

May’s Theme – Short Story Month! Short Stories Made into Movies
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – movie is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Killings by Andre Dubus – movie is In the Bedroom
The Bear Came over the Mountain – movie is Away from Her
Three Ten to Yuma – movie is 3:10 to Yuma (there is a 1957 & a 2007 version)
Optional – Wisdom of Eve – Mary Orr – movie is All About Eve due to publication restrictions of using the original copy, this must be accessed in 5 parts

April’s Theme – Spring

In the Spring by Guy de Maupassant 
On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning by Haruki Muarkami
April Showers by Edith Wharton
The April Witch by Ray Bradbury

March’s Theme – Women
The Bookkeeper’s Wife by Willa Cather
Mrs. Mantsey’s View by Edith Wharton 
The Mark of Cain by Roxanne Gay 
Absit by Angelica Gorodischer

February’s Theme – Black Voices

No Room in the Cemetery – Anonymous
A Negro Tourist in Dixie by Bettye Rice Hughes
I Have Something to Tell You About Slavery: An Address by Frederick Douglass (optional read)
Drenched in Light by Zora Neale Hurston
Positive Obsession by Octavia Butler

January’s Theme – Winter

Hot or Cold by Maile Meloy
The Weather in the Streets by Mary Robison
Turn Signals by Louise Erdrich
Let It Snow by David Sedaris

Previous Discussions – 2022

December’s Theme – TimeThe Rememberer by Aimee BenderThe Secret Miracle by Jorge Luis BorgesThe Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allen PoeTravel to the Other Side by Rod Castor

November’s Theme – Gratitude

The Badger and the Bear – A Lakota Legend
Corn Mother – A Penobscot Legend
Indian Summer – An Abenaki Legend
Captain Christy’s Thanksgiving by J.T. Trowbridge
Why He Carried the Turkey by James Baldwin
Gratitude Exercise: 100 Things to Be Thankful for Today

October’s Theme – Spooky

Abraham’s Boys By Joe Hill –
His Face All Red by Emily Carroll (Graphic Novella) –
The Spindly Man by Stephen Graham Jones –
Chokechain by Andrew Joseph White –
Patient Zero by Tananarive Due –

September’s Theme – Diary/First Person
Children of the Sea by Edwidge Danticat
The Human Chair by Edogawa Ranpo
Africa Kills Her Sun by Ken Saro Wiva
A Professional Relationship by Alice Scott

August Selections – Love?
Clara by Roberto Bolaño
The Proxy Marriage by Maile Meloy
The Cheaters’ Guide to Love by Junot Diaz
The Summer of ‘38 by Colm Toibin

July Selections – Summer Vacation
First Love by Vladimir Nabokov
The Diamond as Big as the Ritz by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Gangsters by Colton Whitehead
Off Diamond Head

June Selection – Best Short Stories published in 2020
The Miracle Girl by Rita Chang-Eppig
Switzerlandby Nicole Krauss
Clementine, Carmelita, Dog by David Means
Love Letterby George Saunders
Little Beast

May – Flowers

April – Humor

Charles by Shirley Jackson
Lord Oakhurst’s Curse by O. Henry
Maddened By Mystery; Or, The Defective Detective by Stephen Leacock
I’m a Short Afternoon Walk and You’re Putting Way Too Much Pressure on Me by Emily Delaney
Optional: A Dish Best Served Cold by Tristan Jimerson (audio only)

March – Women’s History Month Writers

Shawl by Cynthia Ozick
You’re Ugly, Too by Lorrie Moore
A Pair of Silk Stockings by Kate Chopin
Happy Endings by Margaret Atwood
Stone Boy by Gina Berriault 
Rules of the Game by Amy Tan 

February – Black History Month Writers

A Loaf of Bread by James Alan McPherson
Proper Library by Carolyn Ferrells
The Lesson by Toni Cade Bambara
Johnnieruth by Becky Birtha
New Day’s Lyric by Amanda Gorman

January – Year of the Tiger

The Nodding Tiger (Chinese Folklore)
Tiger! Tiger! by Rudyard Kipling
The Tyger by William Blake (poem)
The Lady or the Tiger by Frank Stockton
Mrs. Packletide’s Tiger by H.H. Munro (SAKI)

December – Bittersweet Theme (All Best American Short Story Selections from the past few years)
The Art of Losing – Yoon Choi
The Big True – Dina Nayeri
Sibling Rivalry – Michael Byers
Something Street by Carolyn Ferrell

November Selections – Native American Writers
The Way to Rainy Mountain by N. Scott Momaday (1969)
Yellow Woman by Leslie Marmon Silko (1993)
Whereas by Layli Long Soldier (2017)
Stolen from Our Bodies by Qwo-Li Driskill (2003)
Indian Education by Sherman Alexie (1991)

October Selections – Spooky
Test by Theodore L. Thomas (1962)
Ruthless by William de Mille (1945)
Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl (1953)
Premium Harmony by Stephen King (2009)
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce (1890)
Optional Read: The Doll by Daphne du Maurier (1937)

September Selections 
The Fun They Had by Isaac Asimov
Snow by Julia Alvarez
The School by Donald Barthelme
The Answer is No by Naguib Mahfuz
Dead Man’s Path by Chinua Achebe

August Selections
All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury
Raymond’s Run by Toni Cade Bambara
Lob’s Girl by Joan Aiken
The Summer of my 17th Year by H.O. Santos

A Favorable Favor by Brendan Dubois
The Disappearance of Daniel Question by Barrie Roberts
Artistic License by Edward Marston
Possibilities by Bill Pronzi

A Father & His Sons by Aesop (1484)
The Father by Guy de Maupassant (1880s) – de Maupassant is considered the father of the short story.
The Prodigal Father by Jack London (1912)
The Semplica-Girl Diaries by George Saunders (2012)

“My Dear You” by Rachel Khong (Tin House, May 2017)
“A Flawless Silence” by Yiyun Li (The New Yorker, April 2018)
 “Sweetheart Sorrow” by David Hoon Kim (The New Yorker, June 2007)
Oral History Selection: June Tiang

Hanan al-Shaykh’s “God, It’s as Though You’re Sewing a Dress For a Flea,” tr. Randa Jarrar (Lebanon)
Basma al-Nsour’s “Disappointments (and a Few Clarifications),”tr. Andrew Leber (Jordan) 
 “The Abandoned Village” by Hassan Blasim, translated by Jonathan Wright
 “Rhythmic Exercise” by Mohamed Makhzangi, translated by Yasmeen Hanoosh
Optional Reads: Ruminations: Warm Memories of Government Cheese by Tracey Lynn Lloyd  13 Haikus for Anyone Who’s Ever Eaten a Grilled Cheese by Andrew Peña

Weaving (Poem) by Lucy Larcom (c. 1862)
The Giant Wistaria by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1891)
Sweat by Zora Neale Hurston (1926)
The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin (1973)
The White Umbrella by Gish Jen (2019

Eve’s Diary and Extracts from Adam’s Diary. (1906)by Mark Twain
Little Miss Sophie by Alice Dunbar-Nelson (1895)
Sticks by George Saunders (1995)

Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville (1856)
A Jury of Her Peers by Susan Glaspell (1917)
Thank you, Ma’am by Langston Hughes (1958)

Previous Discussions – 2020


A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens


Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen by O.Henry  
Three Thanksgiving Kisses by Edward Payson Roe
Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, 1863 by Abraham Lincoln 

Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Symbols and Signs by Vladimir Nabokov

Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Cathedral by Raymond Carver –

The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

The Story of B24 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle access at–_the_story_of_b_24.pdf