Gregory Spatz’s Top 10

Gregory Spatz’s stories have appeared in The New Yorker, New England Review, and many other journals. He’s published five books, most recently the story collection Half as Happy (Engine Books, 2013) and novel Inukshuk (Bellevue Literary Press, 2012). He is the recipient of a 2012 NEA Fellowship in Literature.

He says: It’s an almost impossible challenge to pick 10 favorite stories from the hundreds of great ones out there. I’m inclined to use this preamble space to list all the authors I wish I would’ve included (Cheever, Chekhov, Tobias Wolff, Bruno Schultz, KA Porter, Lorrie Moore, IB Singer, Fitzgerald, Denis Johnson, Amy Bloom, David Huddle, Melissa Pritchard…), if I could just figure out an alternative kind of math that turns 10 into 100. The stories I’ve settled on are, in some cases, ones that best exemplify qualities and characteristics in a body of work that I love; in other cases, they are ones that I just couldn’t live without, or which made such an indelible effect on my life and my writing that I can’t not name them. In no particular order:

1.“The Displaced Person,” Flannery O’Connor 2.“A Painful Case,” James Joyce
3.“Carried Away,” Alice Munro 4.“Break it Down,” Lydia Davis
5.“A Small Good Thing,” Raymond Carver 6.“Lull,” Kelly Link
7.“The Metamorphosis,” Franz Kafka 8.“honey pie,” Haruki Murakami
9.“Pet Milk,” Stuart Dybek 10.“The Pretty Girl,” Andre Dubus
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