A few conversations of late, plus an article sent to me by Shannon has made me think a bit about The New Yorker’sshort fiction as of late. To be honest, I’ve found it to be rather flat and boring. Occasionally the magazine will feature an author I like or a new, interesting story, but I’ve found more often than not I am bored. I am bored with the stories by the end of the first paragraph. For a while I thought this was a bad thing, a sign of decreasing quality. Now I’m not so sure.
Shannon and I have a theory on books. If I like them a lot, she usually dislikes them (and vice versa). She posited a theory this weekend in that we both have very strong styles of fiction that we prefer. That being said, I suspect that my problems with the New Yorker stem from their efforts to expose their readers to a wide variety of fiction and styles. While that might not be a great “a ha!” moment, I suspect that there is a method to their so-called madness.
Shannon sent me an article today that briefly discusses the fiction in the New Yorker. What is really interesting is that someone out there has taken the time to actually catalog a bit about the stories and their authors. You can read about it and find the link here. One person commented that they think the New Yorker is going after more foreign writers or those discussing immigrant stories.
For more short fiction, check out One Story Magazine. I’m terribly behind in my reading of them, but the magazine is what it says. The stories more often than not are excellent.