A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
Saturday Shorts Week 19
Welcome to our weekend series for 2014. Every Saturday this year one of our staff will suggest a favorite short story from the library’s collection, all of them a great choice for quick weekend reading.
I can’t imagine that there’s ever been a literary exploration of death as charming, funny, and unpretentious as this little three page story.
Barthelme’s understated narrator is an elementary school teacher recanting the trials and tribulations of a class of kids that has had some firsthand experience with loss. It’s full of wonderful little punchlines like “at least now they know not to overwater” and “well, now they know not to carry them around in plastic bags.” It’s got a little bite to it and will leave you thinking while you laugh. It’s the literary equivalent of a good Monty Python sketch, and probably takes less time to read.
Well, I’m not going to waste any more time telling you about it. Just stop by the library and pick up Donald Barthelme’s Sixty Stories. Go ahead and start with “The School,” though I can bet once you’ve finished it you’ll want to get right down to reading the other fifty-nine.
Review by Matthew