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    Story Club: “The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket”

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in WBN Story Club     Comments 4 comments

    I think it’s high time we all read a short story together again.

    I’ve been reading a ton of Stuart Dybek’s short fiction lately, and I’ve also been talking your ear off about it. I won’t do (much) more of it here, I swear!

    But Twitter friend Kelly Luce took a class with Dybek, and we had a back and forth about that experience, in which she mentioned that Dybek’s favorite story might be Nobel winner Yasunari Kawabata’s “The Grasshopper and the Bell Cricket.” Kelly says that Dybek “still cries every time he reads it.”

    I’d never read Kawabata, but this recommendation was good enough for me. So I read it, and enjoyed it, and I thought it might make for a fun discussion for us. read more

    Recommended Reading For Thanksgiving Travel

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in WBN Story Club     Comments 13 comments

    Happy Thanksgiving, writers! Many of you will be on the move during this hellish travel week.

    If you’re hoping to write during your time away from home, or during your time at home that will include family/friends buzzing around (hopefully not like angry wasps), this post from 2016 offers strategies for writing on the go:Holidays, Family & Writing.”

    Maybe you’ve reached the end of your to-be-read stack of books and are looking for a new travel companion?

    In the comments section below, share with your fellow writers/readers your favorite books from 2017, and take a peek at everyone else’s if you’re in need of some good airplane/bus/train/car reading. read more

    June Story Club: A Crooked Still Life

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in WBN Story Club     Comments 11 comments

    TL;DR version: Our second selection for the WBN Story Club is Margaret Malone’s essay ”A Crooked Still Life.” What follows is a bunch of gobbledygook about why I picked it, and then some instructions on how to participate. If you want to skip all of that, the link to the story is at the end of the post. Enjoy!


    Great work, story clubbers, in discussing our first entry, Tobias Wolff’s “Bullet in the Brain.” I think we did it justice. (They is, they is.)

    This month let’s do similar justice to a piece of nonfiction from an Oregon writer, Margaret Malone, which comes courtesy of a recommendation from WBNer Steve C.

    “A Crooked Still Life” was published in November 2013 by Oregon Humanities. It tracks Malone and her husband’s journey from Oregon to Boston, where he undergoes proton beam therapy to remove what remains of a tumor behind his left eye. read more

    Bullet in the Brain

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in WBN Story Club     Comments 18 comments

    TL;DR version: Our first selection for the WBN Story Club is Tobias Wolff’s “Bullet in the Brain.” What follows is a bunch of gobbledygook about why I picked it. To skip all that and read about the story club process, scroll down to “Logistics.” To skip all that and just read the story and join the discussion, scroll down to the section titled “The Story.”


    The thing to remember about best-laid plans is that I’m a real dum-dum. Twice this week I read through and took notes on my inaugural selection for the WBN Story Club, Stuart Dybek’s “Hot Ice,” a wonderful story that I was prepared to talk about for weeks or even months — a story that is, as I learned only last night, not available online.

    In the immortal word of Rick Perry, oops.

    In fact, none of the stories from The Coast of Chicago are available online. (Legitimately, that is; I did find some of them at one of those sketchy Russian sites that illegally reproduces copyrighted material.)

    Sorry, Dybekkers, but you’ll have to wait. read more