I picked a bad day to be the release day for my latest entry in the Annorlunda Books Taster Flight series. Everyone is distracted by the upcoming Comey testimony (and just released opening statement), and I don't blame them. In fact, if I could redirect some of the attention away from that, I'd direct it to the fact that the Senate is preparing to vote on their version of the AHCA, and we still don't know what is in it.
But, June 7 was the day I picked, and anyway, there is always something more important distracting people right now. It is a tough time to be trying to build a business that depends in part on getting people's attention.
Still, you're reading this! So I have your attention, and I can tell you about Hemmed In. It is my fourth "taster flight" of classic short stories, and I think it is my favorite. I liked the other three a lot, but this one wins because it has a story that latched on to me when I first read it and has stayed in my mind ever since.
I first read Susan Glaspell's A Jury of Her Peers when I was looking for stories for Missed Chances, my first Taster Flight. It did not fit that theme, but I loved the story, and it has stayed with me, popping into my mind for time to time, ever since. It is the story of two women called to come collect things for a farm wife who is in jail on suspicion of murdering her husband... and to tell you more than that would ruin it.
I keep a spreadsheet of potential stories to use in anthologies, and I eventually realized that I had several stories gathered that would fit a theme about women's lives and the aspects of those lives that men don't always understand: Edna Ferber's The Leading Lady and Mary Lerner's Little Selves were also on my list at that point. I knew I could add The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Gilman Perkins, a classic story read by many people in college women's studies or women's literature classes. I never read it in college, but a lot of my friends (and my sister!) had and recommended it to me when they heard about the Taster Flights.
I revisited some of the other collections of old stories that I had on my Kindle, and found Kate Chopin's A Pair of Silk Stockings. Hemmed In still seemed too short, so I decided to add The Bohemian Girl, by Willa Cather, another story I really love. It may be my favorite thing I've ever read by Willa Cather.
I love all the stories in this anthology, and I think that reading them together makes them even better. The idea behind the "taster flight" concept is that just like I notice new things about a beer when I taste it as part of a flight with other beers, I notice new things about a story when I read it as part of a collection of other stories. For instance, I noticed a new detail upon re-reading The Leading Lady after recently reading The Yellow Wallpaper.
If you want to read the stories and see what I mean, you could theoretically go read each one online. They are in the public domain! But for a mere $2.99 you can get my nicely formatted versions on your ereader, from one of these fine retailers:
There is also a paperback, available at Amazon and Createspace right now, and coming to other vendors (BN.com, IndieBound) soon.
If you want to help me spread the word, you can share this post, or you can share the Annorlunda Books release day post or my Tungsten Hippo post. The book is also on GoodReads, so you can add it to your shelves. So many options!
Thanks for taking a break from the political maelstrom with me!