Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Short Story Wednesday: AT THE GATES OF THE ANIMAL KINGDOM, Amy Hempl

 Amy Hempl is considered a master of the minimalist short story. Many of her stories are less than 3000 words and still manage to convey characters and story. "Rapture of the Deep" is about a temp sent to spend Halloween with a bedridden woman who is afraid to have her house unguarded with kids coming to the door. All the things they might do in revenge, which she outlines. Their conversation mostly concerns the rings the invalid has on her fingers. Then the temp confides the death of a man she was engaged to by "Rapture of the Deep" which is what happens when someone scuba diving goes too deep and loses consciousness. The temp leaves, taking some Halloween candy and paper clips with her and remembers too late the remote is out of the woman's reach. The stories are slight but leave the reader with something to think about. 

Todd Mason

George Kelley 

Kevin Tipple 


Jerry House


Todd Mason said...

I've read a story or two by Hempl, but don't remember where at the moment. Probably in the likes of BASS.

I do love an evocative vignette.

Jerry House said...

Sometime the stories that are slight are the ones that stay with you the longest. Sounds like an interesting collection.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Don't think I've read Hempel before. I put her Collected Stories on hold.

Not so many short stories this week, as I was reading a couple of thrillers and Lucinda Williams's memoir. I'm reading another Bill Pronzini & Barry Malzberg collection, ON ACCOUNT OF DARKNESS.

Margot Kinberg said...

Oh, this does sound intriguing, Patti. And I like story that gets you thinking, especially if an author can do that in short story format.

TracyK said...

I used to think I would not like really short stories, but since then I have read many that I liked.

I will try to give her stories a try. It would be nice if I could find one of her books at the book sale to try.

pattinase (abbott) said...

She has more recent collections than this so perhaps. I never find anything very interesting at my book sales. Especially since I moved.