favourite five. short stories.

Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway.  A conversation in a Spanish cafe between a man and a woman that is not as simple as it seems.  Reading between the lines reveals that this casual conversation masks a deeper pain.  It is the kind of conversation that is widely practiced by couples who are ignoring the “elephant” in the room.

Boys and Girls by Alice Munro.  The story is narrated by a young girl and details the time in her life when she leaves childhood behind and comes to the realization that to be a “girl” is to eventually be a woman.  She begins to understand that being socially classified entails a host of serious implications.

Real Food by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  The author explores both her heritage and family through her hatred of the traditional food of Nigeria. She comes to find that by not eating her cultural food simultaneously frees and separates her from her family.

The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin.  Some inhabitants of a peaceful kingdom cannot tolerate the act of cruelty that underlies its happiness.

Happy Endings by Margaret Atwood.  A story with multiple endings, Atwood blurs the line between essay and fiction.  The result is an interesting puzzle.

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