If you are a teacher, a literary scholar, a writer interested in the process of other writers OR a reader who likes a challenge, then a recently published collection of essays, Why I Like This Story, is a project after your own heart.
Years ago Jackson R. Bryer, the editor of this collection, began asking authors to choose a favorite short story and then write about it. Why I Like This Story presents brief essays by forty-eight leading American writers on their favorite American short stories — explaining why they like them.
The essays, which are personal, not scholarly, not only tell us much about the story selected, they also tell us a good deal about the author of the essay — about what elements of fiction he or she values. Among the contributors to the book are Julia Alvarez, Richard Bausch, Ann Beattie, Alan Cheuse, Andre Dubus, William H. Gass, Julia Glass, Jane Hamilton, Jill McCorkle, Alice McDermott, Edward Kelsey Moore, Annie Proulx, Joan Silber, Elizabeth Spencer, Mako Yoshikawa, and many more.
Please note that the actual short stories which inspired the author essays are not included in Why I Like This Story. To fully appreciate Edward Kelsey Moore’s seven page essay on the story, Blessed Assurance by Langston Hughes, you will need to seek out the short story — and likewise all the other short stories referred to in these essays. If you love great fiction, then this is the best kind of treasure hunt. Your allies on this quest are your local bookstore, online merchants, and perhaps you can find some of the short stories available on the internet. Happy hunting — happy reading!
For readers with hearts closer to their stomachs than their heads, a contribution by Edward Kelsey Moore to a previous collection might also be appealing. A few years back Edward shared his recipe for health-forward dessert bars (which include apples and sweet potatoes), prefaced by a sweet story he wrote on My Best Dietary Intentions. Both of these treats from Edward are part of the project, The Artists’ And Writers’ Cookbook, which includes stories and recipes from seventy-six contemporary artists and writers, all bound in a beautiful book with charming illustrations!
Both books are easily available from online merchants, or stop by your local independent bookstore.
With Father’s Day approaching here is a repost of a short essay by award-winning author and classical musician Edward Kelsey Moore about his own father, hosted on the Minnesota Public Radio websites. In the narrative E.K.M. shares a reflection on his father’s unflappable demeanor during a gory-but-brief family crisis: “I remember thinking, ‘Wow, my father is cool!’” The essay was posted on the MPR sites last June, shortly before Edward’s second novel, The Supremes Sing the Happy Heartache Blues, was published. You can read the essay yourself or listen while Edward Kelsey Moore reads it — and since the essay is short you’ll be done in about five minutes!
Discover A Cellist's Appreciation For His Father's Effortless Cool, hosted (free!) at Classical MPR — by clicking here. It is also available (free!) at MPR's sister-site, the music streaming portal, YourClassical.org. Find it there — by clicking here. (A new page will open.)
Listen to the (free!) audio of Edward Kelsey Moore reading the essay to you on either site by clicking on the box beneath his family photo. The audio box shows the recording length, which is 4min 31sec.
(If you can't hear it, check that the volume is turned up on your device. Sorry but we can't help with technical questions if it won't play.)
But wait!! There's more Moore! You can enjoy many previous essays written by Edward Kelsey Moore if you — click here!
Curious about classical music? YourClassical.org is a free streaming service from Minnesota Public Radio. It exists through donor support — but you don’t have to join anything to listen! (If you like what you hear you can donate at any time.) YourClassical.org includes a collection of curated streams plus unique programs and features to promote calm and focus. You can enjoy the live, hosted Radio stream, or Relax, Lullabies, Choral, Sacred and other audio streams by using the menu at the left of the YourClassical screen. Or start a different stream on a mobile device by tapping the Home menu. To go deeper, you can listen to the best daily and weekly programs from American Public Media that you hear on your local public radio stations. YourClassical.org — click around and enjoy the world's greatest music!