Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Thursday, October 9, 2014

"Where Will All the Buildings Go" by Laura van den Berg (in Brooklyn Magazine, March 4, 2014)

My Post on "Opa Locka" by Laura Van Den Berg

Quite recently I read and greatly enjoyed my first story by Laura van den Berg, "Opa Locka".  After posting on this story I was very happy to find one of her short stories published in the excellant New York City focused online journal Brooklyn Magazine.  

I prefer posting  when I can about stories that can be read online and one of my purposes in this post is to share with my readers a link to this delightfully strange brushed by magic realism story, with a reading time of just a few minutes.  I read "Where Have All the Buildings Gone" three times.

Ellen is an ariichtect with a high end firm.  Her current assignment is to design a parking garage.  When it comes time for her presentation she brings in a model of an entire city and ends up being fired.   Her husband teaches at an expensive private school.   One day Ursula, a student at the school where her husband teaches knocks on her door and inexplicably asks to live in their basement.  Now the strory becomes very strange and we begin to see Ellen has her issues. They have to move as without her pay they cannot afford the rent and her husband moves to another school.   I don't want to tell any more of the plot as it is so much fun to read.

You can read the story here 

From the author's web page

Laura van den Berg was raised in Florida and earned her M.F.A. at Emerson College. Her first collection of stories, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us (Dzanc Books, 2009), was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection. Her stories have appeared in Conjunctions, The Kenyon Review, American Short Fiction, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, One Story, and have been anthologized inThe Best American Short Stories, The Best American Mystery Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and the Pushcart Prize XXIV. She is the recipient of scholarships and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, Ragdale, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.LauraReading

She has taught creative writing at Grub Street, Gettysburg College, as the 2009-2010 Emerging Writer Lecturer, the Gilman School, as the 2010-2011 Tickner Fellow, Goucher College, Johns Hopkins University, the Maryland Institute College of Art, George Washington University, and in the M.F.A. programs at Emerson College and Warren Wilson. She is the 2014-2015 Faculty Fellow in Fiction at Colby College.

Her second collection of stories, The Isle of Youth, was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in November 2013. The Isle of Youth was named a “Best Book of 2013″ by over a dozen outlets, including NPR, The Boston Globe, and O, The Oprah Magazine, was a finalist for the Frank O’Connor Award, and received the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. Both Laura’s collections were longlisted for The Story Prize and shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.

I can see myself reading both of her collections soon.

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