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Celebrate Short Story Month with Erika Dreifus and Quiet Americans

May 6, 2011

As you may have heard, May is Short Story Month. And Erika Dreifus, author of Quiet Americans: Stories (Last Light Studio, 2011), is taking part in the (mainly virtual) events through her role as a contributing editor at Fiction Writers Review (FWR). For example, through FWR’s Collection Giveaway Project, for example, Erika is offering two free books to lucky blog commenters: one copy of Forgetting English, by Midge Raymond, and one copy of Quiet Americans. Erika is also contributing posts on the FWR blog, including one titled “Five Ways to Celebrate Short Stories.” (You’re welcome to add your own suggestions)

We’re thrilled to see that in the midst of all this celebration, Erika’s own stories are being recognized, too. Dan Wickett’s Emerging Writers Network, the original source for Short Story Month, is continuing in its own fine tradition. And yesterday, Mr. Wickett featured the title story of Erika’s collection: “The Quiet American, Or How to Be a Good Guest.”

Mr. Wickett tells us that this story “jumped out at” him as he paged through the book, largely because of its use of second-person narration. We encourage you to read his entire post for his thoughtful analysis of the story.

In the meantime, though, we’ll cut to the chase and share his conclusion:

I decided at some point reading the story that Dreifus opted to use the second person narration as the character truly seemed to still be trying to figure things out to some degree, herself. That she was really telling herself the story again, the one she’d lived through, in order to get it to make more sense to herself. This made the choice seem to be a very good one, and I found myself thinking that Dreifus did a really nice job of getting the reader into her story, introducing the conflict and coming to a resolution.

To which we say: We agree! And—Happy Short Story Month!

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