Yesterday I was skimming through Chuck Palahniuk’s Nonfiction when I came across him mentioning his two favorite short stories. The first, he said, was Mark Richard’s “Strays,” but I can’t seem to find it online anywhere. But in searching I came across someone else who said their favorite short story of all time was Richard’s “The Birds for Christmas,” which is actually online and is, in fact, quite good.
Chuck’s other favorite short story is one by Amy Hempel entitled “The Harvest.” I wish I could remember more about what Chuck said about these stories, but I do remember that he loved Hempel’s first line: “The year I began to say vahz instead of vase, a man I barely knew nearly accidentally killed me.” You can read the rest here. So there you go: as they say down South, “Two stories a day keeps the swine flu away.”