Marie-Helene Bertino’s Top 10

Once upon a time I was a student of Irish poetry and learned the word “aisling”: feeling the universe in one small moment. I chose ten stories that contain personal aislings. I can point out lines I’ve written based on revelations and “rules” I culled from these stories. I decided it was most ethical (though heartbreaking) to disqualify stories from journals I’ve edited. The thought of what I left out makes me itch (Denis Johnson). I could tweak this list for weeks, adding and subtracting but, please, I must get back to my family.

1."What You Pawn I Will Redeem," Sherman Alexie 2."Loser," Aimee Bender
3."Why Don't You Dance," Raymond Carver 4."Fat Women Float in the Air Like Balloons," Amanda Davis
5."In the Heart of the Heart of the Country," William Gass 6."Today will be a Quiet Day," Amy Hempel
7."Digging," Beth Lordan 8."Proto-Scorpions of the Silurian," Jim Shepard
9."A Perfect Day for Bananafish," J.D. Salinger 10."Deb Olin Unferth," Deb Olin Unferth
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