SSM: They Is, They Is, They Is

1 May

Not my arm.

Just in time for Short Story Month, Sean Lovelace blogged this full-text version of “Bullet In the Brain” by Tobias Wolff over at HTMLGiant.

I still remember reading this story in my first undergrad fiction workshop at Ball State. This is one of those stories I go back and read at least once a year, just to remind myself of all the things Anders had forgotten about loving language, the surprise and wonder of it. Though the arm in the above picture isn’t mine, it very well could’ve been, because I’ve thought a number of times that if I were to get a literary tattoo, it’d be the phrase “They is,” somewhere as a reminder of all the things I’ve ever loved about sentences.

Tobias Wolff: Livin' on a Prayer

I almost feel bad for Wolff having written this story, because it’s so damn near perfect, I can’t ever imagine him outgrowing it. Imagine his readings. The poor bastard is like Bon Jovi–sure he’s put out more recent work, but you know everyone in that audience just wants to hear about Tommy and Gina.

If you read this story (you should) and love it (you will) and want more (you’d better), check out Wolff’s collection of short stories The Night In Question in which this story is featured.

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