What are five short stories that you would recommend everybody should read?
The Dead by James Joyce
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? by Joyce Carol Oates
Guests of the Nation by Frank O'Connor
A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor
Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx
If you could fight any character in a short story who would that be?
The two hit men, Max and Al, in Hemingway's The Killers.
Erika Wurth, author of Indian Trains
What is your favorite opening line of a short story?
"She was a girl for who a ringing phone dropped exactly nothing." -J.D. Salinger, "A Perfect Day for Bannafish" - which is not the opening line, but it's my favorite so I'm breaking this rule.
Name one short story that inspired you to write short stories yourself?
I was a
sci-fi/fantasy dork & then decided to write poetry first. But I'd been
reading literary fiction for a while before I decided to start writing that,
though I knew I wanted to. I can't really remember, but I remember loving
Dostoevsky's Notes From Underground really early - which isn't a short
story, but was I think the first writer that got my motor running for this kind