Thursday, June 9, 2011

On "Bounce" by Jeanie Chung (2127 words) ***

The same folks who make basketballs make baseballs: Spalding. That's just something that hit me as I read this story. Imagine, making balls for a living. Some company out there specializes in balls.

A ball is important, however, as Chung points out in this story. It's what boys--and girls--think about. For me, it was never the basketball--too big, too meaty--but the baseball, which fit so perfectly into one's hand; or the tennis ball, only slightly smaller and with so much bounce; or the golf ball, a miniature one could admire for its form. But it's easy to see where the love of the basketball would arise. On television, players perform tricks. You can do these yourself. You can practice yourself. You can practice almost anywhere.

I played basketball in a church league for a couple of years. It was nothing I had wanted to do, but it was the difference between the kids having only one team on which the bench never played and two teams on which most people got to be starters. I did it for the team, you might say. I wasn't good, and I didn't dream of being a star. I was never good at any sport, and basketball, with its emphasis on speed and height, made me even less interested.

But Chung's story is about a kid with natural form. And in that, the story is embued with a kind of energy and enthusiasm for what playing the game can be like, especially in the way that Chung forges her sentences--short and choppy phrases--the pick, the pass--punctuated by the occasional smooth and long clause that breaks away like a player on the court. Read the story here at Stymie.


Jeanie Chung said...


Hate to be nitpicky, but I'm a she. Thanks for reading and reviewing my story.


Short Story Reader said...

Thanks for the note, Jeanie. Sorry for the gender confusion. Got that corrected.