by John Minichillo

Marcelle asked me to say something about one of my faves, which made me realize I’ve given a lot of faves, more than eighty, some for friends, but most to writers I didn’t know and was pleasantly surprised by. All of them I stand behind, each of us putting together our own anthologies. And for those who don’t know, “recommended stories” can be sorted for “all-time,” where James Robison’s “Mars,” Kathy Fish’s “Spaceman,” and Pia Earhardt’s “Ambulance” crown the heap. There’s Myfawny Collins, Meg Pokrass, and Scott Garson up there too. All of whom have gotten my faves.

I know I’ve probably missed some great stories along the way, so I’m excited about this new blog feature, to see what else gets recommended. Among my favorites, I’d highlight Meg Pokrass’s “The Big Dipper,” Joe Tripician’s “Remember Me to the Motherland,” Sam Nam’s “I Use Commas Like Ninja Stars,” Jason Lee Norman’s “Animals in the Sky,” Mary Hamilton’s “It Is True that Me and Theodore Swallowed Pop Rocks and Pepsi Cola and Now We Are Dead,” Noria Jablonski’s “Arroyo Vista,” Victoria Lancelotta’s “Everything Is Fine,” Marcy Dermansky’s “Adults at Home,” Ben Loory’s “The Book,” Sean Lovelace’s “Someone Emailed Me Last Night and Asked if I Would Write About Nachos,” Matt Mullins’s “Three Way of the Saw,” Katrina Gray’s “Sectioned,” and Kim Chinquee’s “I Had Time to Kill.” There are a few more I would name, but the authors chose to take them down. And here I’m asked to recommend one.

Gary Percesepe’s “The Way You Live Now,” is the one I wish I’d written, a story about the loss of a child, our relationship to objects, and the nature of time. It’s a mature, subtle, and patient story, from a writer who has been paying very careful attention. In the comments section, James Robison said, “How dare you use second person to portray the entirely singular state of a well ordered mind blunted by shock, sorting through wreckage and stumbling for an ontological foothold, and succeed? And succeed so emphatically?” Erin Fitzgerald said, “I’ve been back a few times to read this again. Thanks for that.” And from David Erlewine, “I think we need to petition Jurgen for a special category of favorites, like ‘game changers,’ or ‘go back to school, son, because you ain’t even close to writing something like this’ stories.” And so now we’ve put it there. If this one doesn’t get to you, nothing will.

Fictionaut Faves, a series in which Fictionaut members recommend stories on the site, is edited by Marcelle Heath, a fiction writer, freelance editor, and assistant editor for Luna Park. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

  1. finnegan flawnt

    great choice, john, good post. i hadn’t read gary’s story before and: yay.

  2. Shelley

    I think one of the “elephants in the room” in current literature is the widespread power of giant corporations, and I’m just wondering if there could be a list sometime of stories accessible to college students that might illuminate that issue….

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