>Winter of Different Directions, by Steven J. McDermott

>Today is the last day of Short Story Month. I didn’t even come close to reading the 20 books I was aiming for. I think I got through about 10 (not counting a few literary magazines), which for me is a pretty good reading month, maybe even a record. Still, there’s this stack of unread story collections on the credenza behind the desk, and I guess I’ll have to work them into my rotation for the rest of the year, although I promise you that the next book I read will be novel. Guaranteed.

Having said that, I’ve got one more collection to talk about this month and that’s Winter of Different Directions by Steven J. McDermott. I confess that I haven’t finished reading the collection, so I’ll no doubt come back to it again at some point, but what I’ve read so far has pleased me. The stories are accessible and engaging, with characters who really feel.

“She slammed the door shut again. That wasn’t an option anyway; they were here friends. The only other friends I had were our friends, which aren’t any kind of friends at all. Not the kind that would help me move, or call me to ask how I was getting on. Not the kind that would give me a place to stay for a few days. That left Skeeter, my old army buddy. I’d have to give him a call, see if he’d let me hang out until it was time to return to Singapore.”

This is from “Swept Aside,” about a vet who has split from his Korean wife. With both my Korean and Singapore experiences, the circumstances McDermott is describing here caught my attention.

Keep an eye out for this collection and I’ll have more to say about it when I’ve finished reading.

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