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The Sky is a Well and Other Shorts

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...Each of Claudia Smith's short shorts is a tilted memory of love and loss [...] There is a natural accuracy in these brief narratives; the stories are short; her voice is true.
-Ron Carlson

Lyric and gritty, glowing and graceful, The Sky Is a Well and Other Shorts is a complex and compact collection from Claudia Smith, funny-sad master of the short short form. Evocative

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chapbook
Published July 2nd 2007 by Rose Metal Press
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Melinda
Oct 09, 2007 Melinda rated it it was amazing
Claudia and my sister have been best friends since they were in 9th grade. I have been reading her work since I was eleven years old and have always loved her style--haunting, beautiful, sad, and funny in that way you're not supposed to think is funny (like when you see a girl completely unaware of the big menstrual stain on the back of her skirt).
I love this chapbook of short, short stories almost as much as i love its author. Also, it was beautifully letter pressed by Rose Metal Press in Mass
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Myfanwy
Jul 12, 2007 Myfanwy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
The narrators in the heartbreaking chapbook, The Sky Is a Well & Other Shorts, are all in search of something--comfort, nuturing, and, perhaps most of all, mother love. These are small girls, young women, adults with children of their own, who yearn for that moment of connection felt so keenly between parent and child. It is a feeling so hard to describe and yet Smith does so evocatively in her explorations of pinning down that moment of connection, or more often, that moment of loss in ...more
Mary
Jul 19, 2007 Mary rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: lovers of the short-short form
The Sky is a Well and Other Shorts is a gorgeous hand-stitched chapbook recently published by Rose Metal Press. Claudia Smith won their competition, judged by Ron Carlson. I had no chance to see the other entrants, but I have to believe that this is a well-deserved win.

Smith's work is spare and elegant in its simplicity. Each short-short, by saying as little as possible, expresses volumes more. The first three sentences of the short "Mermaid" is an example of Smith's terse, shot-in-the-arm pros
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Debbie
Jul 09, 2007 Debbie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: collections

A great collection of stories, told with lyrical voice, that happen to be short. Claudia writes for a good reader, not just for a writer. Many times, flash, short shorts, feel gimmicky, lacking of feeling, written for a writer. Not true here. Every story has such detail, such careful character development, you feel dropped into a world for only a few moments. I think Claudia may prove that flash or short shorts can indeed be collected and sold to the mass markets.

Look for the book here.


Claudia'
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Randall
Jan 08, 2008 Randall rated it it was amazing
I'd read Claudia Smith's work in various journals and even had the pleasure of interviewing her for the flash journal Smokelong Quarterly. What a pleasure to get a chance to read her collected flash fiction. The poetic loveliness of her prose combined with the sincere emotion of her pieces make this a truly remarkable collection. There's a truth here: "Cold and hard, a deep, sweet ache." Terrific.
Beneth
Jul 22, 2007 Beneth marked it as to-read
Shelves: fiction-adults
I clicked into the author's page, and then saw a couple reviews of the book that make me super interested. I don't have a lot of time to read and have been choosing nonfiction lately. I think this will be a great book to take me back into fiction.
Avital
Jul 31, 2007 Avital rated it it was amazing
Shelves: friendsbooks
I read The Sky is a Well in my trip to the Brazilian Pantanal, and it added a bit of melancholy and hope to the night. The combination of the stories makes for a complete emotional picture. One story hit me harder, and the last line "Stick with this one" suggests itself in different moment.
Mark
Jul 31, 2013 Mark rated it it was amazing
I read this as part of the Rose Metal Press compilation _A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness_. Smith's short-shorts are stunning. Time and again they left me breathless with surprise and delight.
Kimberly Ann
Dec 30, 2014 Kimberly Ann rated it it was amazing
I can totally understand why this elegant, smart, & moving book of short short stories won the first annual short short chapbook contest from the great Rose Metal Press.
Claudia
Jun 22, 2009 Claudia rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
It's my book, so I of course gave it five stars. I give just about everything on my shelves five stars.
Kathy
Aug 09, 2007 Kathy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chapbooks
I got this book today and read it all the way through. What a stunning collection! And I have an extra copy I can send to the first person to respond to this...
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Tara
Oct 28, 2009 Tara rated it it was amazing
Loved this book of small stories by a truly gifted writer.
Jeff
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Jul 07, 2007
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Claudia Smith's fiction has appeared in several journals and anthologies. Her collection of short shorts, The Sky is a Well and Other Shorts, was released in July 2007. The first printing sold out, but was reprinted as part of the book A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness: Four Chapbooks by Four Women.

Her second collection of short-shorts, Put Your Head In My Lap, was published in fall 2009 by Futu
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