Saturday, August 23, 2008

On "Don't Call It Christmas" by Ryan Harty (11398 words) *****

Simply put, this is one of the best contemporary stories I have read. I came across Harty's work in a review. I was curious enough that I did a search for him online and found this. This in turn caused me to go buy his collection. There are some other very fine stories in that collection (Bring Me Your Saddest Arizona)--most especially "What Can I Tell You about My Brother"--but none of them, for me, match up to this first encounter I had with Harty's work. Sad, like so many of the stories in this collection, and full of heart. And better yet, they're all set out West, in Arizona--reminding me of the open spaces and the desert of my childhood that I sometimes miss. In this piece, a man takes in a homeless girl and slowly falls for her. Only bad things can happen, right? Read the story here at the Missouri Review.

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