short story – Michigan Quarterly Review

short story

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A Double Act

The man stood in the middle of the sunken living room, and I stood on its shore. Upper East Side, mid 1950s, a stranger’s apartment as big as any house I’d ever been in, with pale silk wallpaper and furniture like a hotel lobby, beams in the ceiling, an iron chandelier of the kind you …

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Singing Worm

Carlos is not just any worm. Carlos’s immune system is so strong that Moonie can bombard it with legions of aggressive invader organisms, and Carlos fends them off. But what’s truly remarkable about this worm is that while gobbling up intruders like a worthy ninja, it screeches out the famous first bars of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

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Aminatu

Aminatu sometimes found comfort in the fact that no one there quite knew her. Their expectation of the things she should have done or could have been was not humiliatingly high. To most who met her, Aminatu was “that young African woman.” That, in its ambiguity, was manageable. So she combined whatever it was to be African with what she was inevitably coming to know as black in America.

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Over

Why I Chose It: Michigan Quarterly Review Reader Matthew Wamser introduces Glen Hirshberg’s “Over” from our Summer 2020 Issue. A warning: It is so easy to fall in love with the father in this story. In the narrator’s hands, the father comes alive as a truly specific character who couldn’t possibly be anyone other than himself. As …

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