Short Story is a sleek and slim publication containing three short stories, one interview, and one photo essay in its total of 81 pages. The front cover is plain black with the publication name and contents subtly centered in sophisticated lime green type. It is the perfect size to hold in the palm of your hand, the perfect weight and density to carry in your purse, backpack, or back pocket. From the outset I was impressed by Short Story’s exterior style and was relieved to discover that its interior was equally satisfying.
Former Poet Laureate of Virginia, George Garret’s short story, “Portrait for the Ages,” is a beautiful portrayal of a young poet’s struggles to achieve notoriety while on fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. Timothy Samson’s “The Meeting” is an eerie Kafkaesque examination of the corporate world. And Ernest Finney’s “La Paraguaya” is a slightly noirish look at two diverse cultures clashing together.
Despite the fact that all three stories were extraordinarily well crafted and well rendered, the highlight of this issue of Short Story was editor Caroline’s Lord’s interview with C. Michael Curtis and the photographic montage of Kathleen Robbins. Due to Lord’s insightful and well researched questions, Curtis and Lord enjoy a lively dialogue on writing, publishing, and the literary history of The Atlantic magazine. Likewise, Robbins’s elegant pairing of photographs and letters found in the estate of her grandmother was a pure pleasure to read and re-read, to examine and examine once again.