This list reflects A.J. Fikry’s love of short stories. It was compiled from the stories mentioned at the beginning of each chapter of the novel. Happy reading!

(For more about the novel The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, go to TO SEE A WORLD IN A BOOKSTORE).

“The Diamond as Big as the Ritz” a novella, F. Scott Fitzgerald

“ What Feels Like the World “ 1985 Richard Bausch

“A Good Man is Hard to Find”, 1953 Flannery O’Connor (The story Amy favours)

“The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”, 1865, Mark Twain

“The Girls in their Summer Dresses”, Irwin Shaw, 1939

“A Conversation with my Father” Grace Paley, 1972

“A Perfect Day for Banana-fish” by J D Salinger,1948

“The Tell-Tale Heart” E.A. Poe, 1843

“Ironhead”, Aimee Bender, 2005

“Bullet in the Brain” by Tobias Wolfe

His favourite story:  “What We Talk about When We Talk about Love” Raymond Carver, 1980

“The Bookseller”, Roald Dahl, 1986

His suggestions to Maya, now a teenager, who is having trouble writing a story:

“The Beauties”, Anton Chekhov  /  “The Doll’s House” by Katherine Mansfield / “A Perfect Day for Banana-fish” by J D Salinger  /  “Brownies” or “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere” by ZZ Packer  / “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried” by Amy Hempel   / “Fat” by Raymond Carver  / “Indian Camp” by Ernest Hemingway

Fikry (1)

5 thoughts on “A.J. FIKRY’S RECOMMENDATIONS (from Island Books)

  1. A special “Yes” to the Hemingway stories mentioned in suggestions to Maya, the ones from “The Fifth Column and the First 49…,” such as “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.” These stories use the silence between people to very good effect.

  2. You know, David, I think the reading list offered in this novel is a real bonus. I’m delighted that Zevin chose to promote the short story, and her/Frikry’s suggestions have such appeal.
    I’ve never read most of these, I’m embarrassed to say.

    I want to read the Raymond Carver! The Flannery O’Connor! (my youngest son has probably read everything here, putting his mum to shame).

    I’m very intrigued by the Tobias Wolfe (you see, I remember that context in the novel that prompted Fikry to suggest it).

    I’ve only read Grace Paley’s poetry.

    And I am definitely going to read the Hemingway.

    Any other comments about any of these other stories?

  3. David, I remember a Hemingway story that takes place in the woods, where an emergency caesarian is performed on a Native woman without anaesthetic. Would that be “Indian Camp”?
    I was young when I read that and it is branded into my memory.

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