Like a good man, a good short story is hard to find. I once heard the genre compared to tomatoes. Sure, you can grow them in hothouses (read: MFA programs), but the really good ones have to grow from the soil.
And while they may be hard to find, a good story short is equally as hard to forget. For me, what always sticks in my memory is the imagery. This explains why upon seeing a recent photograph of Kevin Durant’s gaudy new back tattoo my first thought was of Flannery O’Connor; or why, on winter evenings, as I rode the bus past Portland’s Eastern Cemetery, I thought of the ending to James Joyce’s ‘The Dead.’ (Few things make enduring unsavory public transportation more palatable than thinking about being buried in a “lonely churchyard on a hill.”)
Today, the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography releases the short story collection ‘Long Live Us’ by two-time Independent Publisher Book Award winner Mark R. Brand. In addition to this collection, Brand has published three novels. He was also the editor of the wonderfully-titled 2009 anthology Thank You, Death Robot.