The Seven Stories fiction list began with Nelson Algren stories, with titles like "The Face on the Barroom Floor" and "The Lightless Room." These are not exactly beach reads, nor are the books you'll find below. What you will find are novels rooted in this world, presenting the dignity of people struggling to make sense of it and in one way or another to change it.
So, this is another kind of summer fiction list. We hope you'll find much that will challenge, inspire, and engage, in times of darkness and of light.
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You may know Franz Kafka's "The Trial," a tale of nightmarish bureaucracy, but do you know Anton Chekhov's? Written in 1881, when Chekhov was only twenty-one, it contains the germ of much that would later come to be considered Chekhovian: petty cruelty, country life, and the inability of one generation to come to terms with the other. And because it's Chekhov's birthday today, we're publishing his short story, "The Trial," exclusively here in the blog. We hope you enjoy, if enjoy is indeed the word.