This is a National Book Award winning and completely knockout collection of six stories with characters that will haunt you. They are surreal, unnerving, hilarious and heart-breaking. Highly recommended!
Recently in my English class, I read a short story called “Graduation” by Andre Dubus. The story focuses on a teenage girl, Bobbie Huxford, as she tries to escape her stagnant life in Texas. At her high school, Bobbie is considered to be an “easy” girl who would have sex with anyone who shows interest. Her bad reputation eventually causes her to feel lonely and vulnerable. When she finally graduates high school and moves away for college, she decides that she has the chance to start anew. She starts to live a lie as she acts as if she were a virgin. When she gets a boyfriend in college, she lies to him and tells him that she was raped by her uncle when she was younger. Bobbie lies in order to portray herself as an innocent and pure girl. The boyfriend buys her lie. He feels like her protector and loves her for being so pure. Bobbie eventually marries her boyfriend and she lives her life of lies. This story shows how as teenagers we all care too much about what others think of us. We don’t like to feel like we don’t belong and sometimes we lie to fit in or make others like us. Lying is easy. But the hardest part is to live with the lie. I thought that the story was relatable and I highly recommend it to students.
For a month in English, we’ve been reading a collection of short stories by Tim O’Brien called The Things They Carried, which takes place during the Vietnam War. All the stories are real, but all of the history behind the stories are somewhat twisted. O’Brien purposely did this because he admits it is impossible to tell a true war story. It takes too much pain in telling the experiences that he wishes he’d forgotten. Some of the stories are funny, sad, and thrilling. All are so well detailed that they put the reader in a soldier’s shoes. I’d definitely suggest that anyone read it, and I’d give the collection 5 out of 5 stars.