[Reading Room] The Appropriation of Cultures by Percival Everett

Described as a ‘delightfully subversive’ story, “The Appropriation of Cultures” by Percival Everett is definitely both of those things.

I listened to this story as part of a Selected Shorts podcast. It was read by Ruben Santiago-Hudson (who I knew as Captain Montgomery from Castle . He turns out to be a wonderful storyteller who gets out of the way of the story and is blessed with a voice I could listen to for days).

It’s described in the show notes as a ‘delightfully subversive’ story and it is definitely both of those things.

The story starts with an affluent college graduate who seems like a bit of a wastrel, spending his time living off inherited money, reading and playing jazz with ‘the old guys’ at some dive bar.

The story’s trucking along just fine until one night Daniel is playing at the bar and some college frat boys come in and request that the band “Play Dixie for us”. Continue reading “[Reading Room] The Appropriation of Cultures by Percival Everett”

[Tuesday Reading Room] Zombie Psychology by Sarina Dorie

While this short story isn’t perfect [1. Pet peeve: you don’t reach a crescendo. The crescendo is the bit where the volume is increasing.], it is fun and entertaining and had some likes that made me smile and frankly, that’s good enough for me.

Zombie Psychology starts with a great first line, too:

“I’d been expecting my ex-boyfriend to show up sooner or later, and when he did, I knew he’d probably want to eat my brain.”

I mean, really. How can you resist reading on?

 

Clocking in at less than 900 words, this neat story uses lots of zombie tropes without taking them too seriously, but without mocking them either. Zombie fans won’t be annoyed by someone trampling all over their myths, but the non-zombie fans among us won’t be left rolling their eyes.

 

Untied Shoelaces of the Mind, which published this story, is an interesting publication: an online paying market that doesn’t waste it’s budget on design fees, but that offers a great selection of really well-written stories in written and audio formats. It’s open to new fiction from  new writers and seems very well-run. Check it out.