Short Stories on Wednesdays is a weekly event intended to encourage folk to read short stories, a much neglected literary form. Every Wednesday you are encouraged to share what you’ve read with us in the comment section. You can even post links to any review of short stories you have made through the course of the week. Every second Wednesday we have a guest poster and/or a short story giveaway. Every fourth Wednesday we have a theme round which we try to choose a story to read. This, of course, is not compulsory.
Note for next Wednesday theme: Next week’s theme for our short story reads is A Letter. You can interpret it to mean anything. Am looking forward to seeing what you all get to read around this theme!
“A Gold Slipper” by Willa Cather
This was my very first Willa Cather read, and I think I’m really going to enjoy reading her works. I quite enjoyed her style and I’m curious about the America she writes about. From what I’ve read in this story, she sounds a bit like Edith Wharton, though I didn’t care much for the latter and her style.
But I’ve gone way off the point and haven’t introduced the story yet!
“A Gold Slipper” is about a businessman McKann being dragged off for a concert. He is quite uninterested in the singer, and finds himself uncomfortably seated in the concert hall, which adds to his discomfort. This famous singer, Kitty Ayrshire, notices his boredom and is obviously curious as to why he is so. A few hourse later McKann is in a hurry to get to the train station and he happens upon a stranded Ayrshire. On requestion he takes are into his taxi and to the station, just in time to catch the train. Once on the train Ayrshire accosts him eager to know what it was about her concert that he did not like. McKann is soon rattling off common prejudices of his kind to music and artists on the whole. Ayrshire is not offended…she is however, very curious, and a little disappointed when she realises she has nothing new to learn from McKann. They soon end their conversation, with Kitty Ayrshire quite sure that McKann would dream of her. In the morning he wakes up in his berth to find one of the golden slippers Ayrshire had been wearing at the concert, lying next to him. He tries to get rid of it but it lands up at his closet at home. He decides to keep it and puts it into his vault. Five years later we see McKann, ill and of hardly any use at all in his company. Aryshire and her golden slipper seem to have unmanned him.
I read this story from a collection of hers titled Youth and the Bright Medusa. If you would like to read it here is an online text.
What short stories have you all been reading this past week? And don’t forget! Next week’s theme is “a letter”.