The Inquiring Reader
Discussing interesting writing and ideas

All Reviewed Short Stories


  • 91

    Borderland by Olga Tokarczuk

    Borderland is somber story about a writer in a post-apocalyptic world who is trying to make sense of the collapsing world around him.

  • 90

    With the Beatles by Haruki Murakami

    Memories shift and change over time. Our relationships are defined by the sensations that stick out from all the others – the fluttering of our hearts for the first time, the music that plays on the radio. As old age comes for all of us, how will we remember our past?

  • 84

    Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God by Joyce Carol Oates

    Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God looks at what is important to us when faced with uncertainty and destruction. It is a vivid story of environmental collapse in the near future, filled with despair, anxiety, beauty, and relief.

  • 82

    Playing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain by Jamil Jan Kochai

    In Playing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Jamil Jan Kochai questions the morality of war-based video games. These games don’t represent some idealism of the past, they represent a deep-rooted, neo-imperialistic ideology under which young Americans are being indoctrinated.

  • 81

    The Trip by Weike Wang

    A playful, yet deeply emotional reflection on intercultural relationships. A man follows his wife to China to meet her extended family and watches as she forms her identity and immerses herself in her native culture – all the while growing further and futher apart from one another.

  • 80

    The Lost Performance of the High Priestess of the Temple of Horror by Carmen Maria Machado

    In the dark and dismal streets of pre-war Paris, France, a young girl loses her mother to illness. She joins the crew at a local theater that is known for its staged violence, fake blood, and unhinged main actress. The girl has nowhere else to turn.

  • 79

    Only Orange by Camille Bordas

    Family relationships are difficult. In Only Orange, Camille Bordas explores the inner workings of family through the perspective of a deeply cynical woman in her mid-thirties, struggling with a slew of personal and interpersonal issues while on vacation with her family in southern Spain.

  • 78

    Uncle Jim Called by David Rabe

    Uncle Jim Called is a retrospection for those who have regrets over lost loved ones and a warning for those who will inevitably understand these feeling one day.

  • 77

    Natural Light by Kathleen Alcott

    Casually walking through a museum in New York City, a woman sees a lewd photograph of her mother who had passed away years before. She can't believe it. Her mother was a run-of-the mill sort of person, not what is on display in the photograph. She contacts her father looking for answers and attempts to cope with her mother's identity.

  • 75

    The Little King by Salman Rushdie

    The Little King is an ironic, comical, and disheartening story of two cousins associated with the current Opioid epidemic. It explores greed, corruption, and the justification that some people feel while committing questionable acts for personal profit.

  • 73

    She Said He Said by Hanif Kureishi

    She Said He Said is a short, compact reflection on relationships that are soured by an unwelcome attempt at seduction. Kureishi's writing is brisk and to-the-point, focused entirely on providing the reader with only the essential details.

  • 65

    Bringing Down the Sky by Alan Bao

    Bringing Down the Sky is a reminder that without action, the more prosperous will take advantage of underrepresented groups due to the fundamental structure of society.