- Paperback: 182 pages
- Publisher: Little A (February 10, 2015)
In this collection’s richly imagined title story, our brutal and resourceful protagonist is determined to protect her family from a murderous, shark-ridden world—at any cost. Elsewhere, an old woman uncovers a sinister plot while looking after a friend’s plants (“Orchids”), and a girl in the war-torn countryside befriends an unlikely creature (“Keeper of the Glass”). In “Barnstormers,” a futuristic flying circus tries to forestall bankruptcy with one last memorable show. At the heart of “Sheila” is the terrible choice a retired judge must make when faced with the destruction of his beloved robotic dog, and “Yuri, in a Blue Dress” follows one of the last survivors of an alien invasion as she seeks help.
Extending from World War II to the far future, these fifteen stories offer a gorgeously observed perspective on our desire for connection and what it means to have compassion—for ourselves, for one another, for our past…and for whatever lies beyond.
Buy, read, and discuss The Thing About Great White Sharks
Rebecca Adams Wright is a 2011 graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop and a former University of Michigan Zell Writing Fellow. She has an MFA in fiction from the University of Michigan and has won the Leonard and Eileen Newman Writing Prize. Rebecca lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan, with her husband and daughter.
Connect with Rebecca
Short stories are a great way to get to know an author if you’re unfamiliar with her work, or if you don’t have the time to really sink into a novel. (Personally, I like to keep collections of short stories in the bathroom. Oh, come on, you all know you read there, too.)
I’ve come to think of them as a textual sampler platter. You get all sorts of characters and voices, and you don’t have to choose one to stay with.
Rebecca Adams Wright’s collection of short stories, The Thing About Great White Sharks (and Other Stories), is a prize among short story collections, because it’s fresh and unique, and just a little twisted in places…all things I appreciate.
While the title of the book (and the eponymous short story within) are what drew me to this collection (because I do have a ‘thing’ about great white sharks), and while that story – a whole new way to look at post-Apocalyptic society that (thank you, Ms. Wright) does not involve any humans shambling around or moaning for brains – was compelling, and dark, and even a little dangerous, it wasn’t my favorite of the fifteen.
That honor went to “Orchids,” which starts out as a simple little tale of a woman watering her neighbors plants and turns into something that would make Hitchcock sit up in his grave and demand to film, were that possible.
I also want to give a shout-out to “Sheila” which was sweet and sentimental without being sappy, and reminded me of both the questions that will start to come up as AIs become more widespread and more advanced (Siri has some growing up to do) and of the contemporary, and very real, issue of Breed-Selective Legislation (the laws which ban people from owning “bully” breed dogs like American Staffordshire Terriers, and other ‘pit bull types’).
But those are just three of the collection, and there are twelve others that take us back in time to World War II, and forward to when aliens are a real presence, and span many years and moods in between.
I would say that I’d love to see Ms. Wright give us a whole novel, but I’ve enjoyed her short stories so much, that my greediest self wants to demand another volume.
Goes well with Tapas and sangria or sushi and plum wine – anything that involves small bites of diverse flavors.
Friday, February 13th: Book Snob – author guest post
Monday, February 16th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, February 16th: Bibliophilia, Please
Wednesday, February 18th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, February 19th: 5 Minutes for Books
Thursday, February 19th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Monday, February 23rd: Conceptual Reception
Tuesday, February 24th: Bibliotica review and author guest post
Tuesday, February 24th: Savvy Verse and Wit – author guest post
Wednesday, February 25th: Bibliophiliac
Thursday, February 26th: The Relentless Reader
Monday, March 2nd: A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
Tuesday, March 3rd: Patricia’s Wisdom
Thursday, March 5th: Guiltless Reading
Monday, March 9th: Kahakai Kitchen
Thursday, March 12th: The Book Binder’s Daughter – author guest post
TBD: Bound by Words
TBD: Life is Story