Why Short Stories?
Jim Shepard on the White Hot Literary Center of America
At the 2017 Bay Area Book Festival, Literary Hub went backstage to interview authors and panelists on a wide range of topics: the personal, the professional, and the political. In the below video, the second in an ongoing series, beloved short-story writer Jim Shepard, who appeared on the One Story panel at the festival, answers the question “why short stories” in hilarious—and astute—fashion.
Jim Shepard: “I’m actually impatient with what I call the ‘furniture moving’ involved in getting novels started, you know, that throat-clearing stuff . . . and I love the way stories kind of drop you right in the middle of something. I love that whole hit-the-ground-running thing, and do it as quickly as possible.”
Jim Shepard: “Sometimes literary readers will say to me, ‘you know, I just want to relax.’ And I’ll be like, you can relax—take a quaalude and read the story, what can I tell you?”