(CLASSIC: from The Complete Short Stories, Simon & Schuster)
I love Hemingway’s punchy, no-nonsense prose and the way he allows the reader to collaborate in his stories by never telling us too much. This one is classic Hemingway – all gun-toting, gimlets and testosterone in the African bush. And though it was published in 1936, the story still feels very modern, particularly in terms of the structure.
(MODERN: from Ten Little Indians, Secker & Warburg).
Redemption, in both senses of the word, is the theme of this intensely moving, yet comic story of Jackson Jackson, an alcoholic Spokane Indian, living on the streets of Seattle. On his way to buy a bottle of ‘fortified courage’, the narrator discovers his grandmother’s beaded dance regalia, stolen fifty years before, on display in a pawnshop window. Believing that the theft led to the cancer which killed her, he sets off on a quest to get the regalia back. The story is edgy, but full of compassion and humour, and the final scene is truly transformative.
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