Last Saturday, I went to a wonderful bbq with about a dozen writers and talk turned to books (I know, real shocker). Our post-grad "to read" pile is growing. Now I have even more to add. The Pulitzers were announced yesterday. Here's the list and the winner for fiction is Olive Kittridge, a collection of short stories. Plague of Doves was the runner-up.
Shoot, I just got around to last year's winner!
Have to admit, I've not been a big fan of short stories, but that is slowly changing. I still prefer the experience of getting lost in a novel. As I wrote in a recent annotation on Johnston's Corpus Christi, I find short stories demanding, requiring concentration. They are not a relaxing art form. I have found that once I started reading books to see what authors were doing, the process moved - logically - from unconscious influence to purposeful learning. I no longer had to worry about my writing sounding like someone else's because I could look at the nuts and bolts of what they were up to and choose to use elements or not.