A Good Idea

Here’s a theory. If more of us took public transport, short stories would become the latest micro-trend. Glance around next time you ride. The John Cheevers and Flannery O’Connors of this world wouldn’t have much competition: newspapers stain your fingers, hardcover biographies are unwieldy, and poetry can make you quit your job and move to an ashram. In fact, there’s nothing so invigorating and stabilizing as a good story—one that begins, middles, and ends all by the end of your commute.

In a perfect world, metro-rail lines would mail you a volume of short fiction every time you renewed a monthly pass. (Enlightened mayors: call me).

—John Freeman, reviewing One Hundred and Forty Five Stories in a Small Box: Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape, How the Water Feels to the Fishes, and Minor Robberies, by Sarah Manguso, Dave Eggers, and Deb Olin Unferth, The Barnes & Noble Review, 27 November 2007