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    One great short story to read today:
    Alice Munro’s “Wenlock Edge”

    Emily Temple

    May 1, 2023, 10:00am

    According to the powers that be (er, apparently according to Dan Wickett of the Emerging Writers Network), May is Short Story Month. To celebrate, the Literary Hub staff will be recommending a single short story, free to read online, every (work) day of the month. Why not read along with us? Today, we recommend:

    “Wenlock Edge” by Alice Munro

    Let’s start with the obvious: Alice Munro. The Canadian short story writer, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013, would make anyone’s list of the grand masters of the form, and as such, you actually have plenty of perfect stories to choose from. The internet giveth! For today, I recommend “Wenlock Edge.” It’s by no means Munro’s most famous, but it happens to be my favorite—the one that I randomly think about when I’m doing the dishes or taking a walk in a strange neighborhood. (It’s the kind of story that sneaks up on you like that.) It features Murno’s trademark layered storytelling, displays her deft handling of time, and manages to tap into something exhilaratingly universal by unpeeling a very specific, almost hyper-realistic moment in an otherwise ordinary life.

    The story begins:

    My mother had a bachelor cousin a good deal younger than her, who used to visit us on the farm every summer. He brought along his mother, Aunt Nell Botts. His own name was Ernie Botts. He was a tall, florid man with a good-natured expression, a big square face, and fair curly hair springing straight up from his forehead. His hands, his fingernails were as clean as soap itself; his hips were a little plump. My name for him—when he was not around—was Earnest Bottom. I had a mean tongue.

    But I meant no harm. Or hardly any harm.

    Read it here.

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