Gerard van Emmerik, Dutch writer, recommends…

(CLASSIC: from Nabokov’s Dozen, 1958)

My favourite ‘classic’ short story is Signs and Symbols. It’s full of tragedy, but also very witty; the story of two old Russian emigres and their son, who wants to step out of life. Beautifully written – like all his work.

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(MODERN: from Color of Darkness: Eleven Stories and a Novella)

Another favourite of mine, a bit more modern, but still 50 years old: Sound of Talking (James Purdy). It’s dark, painful; a story about love and despair.

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