I found out from Dan Wicket of Emerging Writers Network that May is Short Story Month. Erika Dreifus at Fiction Writers Review came up with idea to celebrate with The Collection Giveaway Project, urging bloggers interested in the short story to participate.
So we are! Weighed Words is recommending Bluebirds Used to Croon in the Choir (Triquarterly Books/Northwestern) and we’ll give it away on May 31 to someone who responds to the blog. This book is by Joe Meno (his first story collection), and one of the stories in it, “A Strange Episode of Aqua Voyage” is also in Solace in So Many Words.
A Joe Meno story gets your attention from the first sentence and makes you want to follow his voice wherever it’ll take you. The book was the Midland Authors Fiction Prize in 2005. “Midway” is in this collection and you can see why it was the Chicago Tribune Nelson Algren winner in 2003. So immediate and real, the story makes the reader root for Luis and Junior. Each story is a prize, and though the premise may be absurd (like the floating man in “Hold On To Your Hat” or the children in “The Use Of Medicine” who sedate small animals and dress them up), there is a sincerity in tone that carries the reader along.
The Chicago Sun-Times blurb on the back of the book say it is “Filled with a sense of wonder and whimsy with an overlay of sadness.” This is an apt comment — Joe’s story may be humorous and whimsical but there is also a sense of yearning. The characters in Joe’s stories want to connect, but sometimes it just isn’t that easy for them.
Tell me, what is your favorite short story (or stories)? You might just win Bluebirds Used to Croon in the Choir. And, I’ll throw in a copy of Solace in So Many Words too.