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What I read

What I Read, Wrote, and Published in 2022

Read a lot, but not enough. Several unfinished WIPs. A fair number of publications, including in four good magazines . Attended my first writing workshop online; it was fruitful. Joined the volunteer staff of two lit mags. Grew my circle of critique partners. Spent most of the year working on short fiction, a new experience for me. Discovered several authors I plan to read more of, and revisited some old favourites.

[Image credit] My favourite read of the year: challenging but rewarding

Monthly Review: December 2022

What I Read:

(ss = short story; fs = flash story)

  1. Jan: Edwin Drood
  2. Jan: A Streetcar Named Desire
  3. Jan: Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
  4. Jan: The Glass Menagerie
  5. Jan: “Gold Old Neon” (novelette)
  6. Jan: Hitler’s Vienna
  1. Feb: Hitler’s Niece
  2. Feb: Julius Caesar (reread after secondary school)
  3. Feb: An Unquiet Mind
  4. Feb: ss: The Yellow Wallpaper; Speech Sounds; Cat Pictures, Please; Omelas
  5. Feb: Outliers
  6. Feb: Candide
  1. Mar: Treasure Island
  2. Mar: Blink
  3. Mar: ss: from Electric Lit: Brendan Matthews’s “Maniac”; Sindya Bhanoo’s “Forest Exchange”; Emily Everett’s “Osteriser Classic Series 10 Cycle Blender” (fs); Grace Paley’s “Mother” (fs); Isaac Babel’s “Crossing the River Zbrucz” (fs); C1 of Allegra Hyde’s Eleutheria; excerpt from Peter Cameron’s What Happens At Night; Deborah Eisenberg’s ss “Your Duck Is My Duck”; Kate Folk’s “Lotion the Walls, Or Else.”
  4. Mar: Antony & Cleopatra
  5. Mar: Ionesco’s The Lesson
  1. Apr: Ordinary People
  2. Apr: Kafka’s letter to his pa, w/ intro & excerpts from K’s diary & letters
  3. Apr: The Lost World
  4. Apr: The Poison Belt
  5. Apr: Tropic of Cancer
  6. Apr: Black Beauty
  1. May: Macbeth (reread after secondary school)
  2. May: Pulp
  3. May: Post Office
  4. May: ss (forgot to note which ones I read)
  5. May: Much Ado About Nothing
  6. May: The Magic of Reality
  1. June: City of Victory (novella)
  2. June: In Kenyon Review, Sep-Oct 2019 issue, Chee Brossy’s “A Good One.” Chekhov’s “In the Cart”; Turgenev’s “The Singers”; Chekhov’s “The Darling”; Tolstoy’s “Master & Man”; Gogol’s “The Nose”; Chekhov’s “Gooseberries”; Tolstoy’s “Alyosha the Pot” (read as part of working through A Swim in a Pond in the Rain)
  3. June: The Wind in the Willows (reread after primary school)
  4. June: The Psychology of Money (hint: save your money; don’t buy this book)
  5. June: White Noise
  1. July: The Red and the Black
  1. Aug: Out of Sheer Rage: In the Shadow of D. H. Lawrence
  2. Aug: Circe
  3. Aug: Coral Glynn
  4. Aug: A Swim in a Pond in the Rain
  1. Sep: Almost No Memory
  2. Sep: The Sound and the Fury
  3. Sep: first few chapters of Godel, Escher, Bach; won’t read any more – fascinating, but demanding and irrelevant to my current interests
  1. Oct: The Moon’s A Balloon
  2. Oct: Sandman (novella)
  3. Oct: Dickens at Work
  4. Oct: Coetzee’s Foe
  5. Oct: The Road
  6. Oct: Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves
  7. Oct: The Inimitable Jeeves
  8. Ss: Jeeves Takes Charge; Extricating Young Gussie; Kenyon Review: Anaheim; Butchers; Undertow; Old Bones; Cruise; Departures
  9. Oct: Joy in the Morning
  1. Nov: Some Day This Pain Will Be Useful To You
  2. Nov: Little Dorrit
  3. Nov: Short stories: “K” By Puloma Ghosh; “Breastmilk” by ‘Pemi Aguda; “Guerrilla Warfare” by Sanjay Agnihotri; “Stafff Picks” By George Singleton; “The Everest Society” By Shannon Sanders; “The Remains” By Laura Spence-Ash (all from One Story, as part of a three-day writing workshop I participated in)
  1. Dec: Judey Blume: Wifey
  2. Dec: ss: from Narrative mag: “With or Without the Dog” by Isabelle Stillman; “A Common Story” by Ivan Goncharov (novel excerpt); from 3am mag: “The Absolution of Roberto Acestes Laing” by Nicholas Rombes (novel excerpt); “Summer Job” by Cassandra Moss; Catapult: CNF: “Why Advertising Feels Like A Form of Urban Noise Pollution” by Alex Manley; Kenyon Rv: “Make and Model” by Sophia Emmons-Bell; from The New Yorker: “Symbols and Signs” by Vladimir Nabokov (1948)
  3. Dec: The Mystery of Charles Dickens

What I Published:

Upcoming:

  1. [Fall 2022] – Short stories “Courage Anniversary” and “Re:Birth” in Caustic Frolic
  2. [Jan 2023, Feb 2023] – Microstories “DIY” and “Afterwards” in Fairfield Scribes Microfiction
  3. [Date unknown] – Short story “Night” in The Dalhousie Review
  4. [Date unknown] – Short story “The City” in Bamboo Ridge Issue #124 (45th Anniversary Issue)
  5. [2023] – Short story “The Sacrifice” in Rollick
  6. [Dates unknown: short stories “Last Day of Freedom,” “Impulse,” “The Revolutionaries,” and “Timeshare” accepted for publication in Bewildering Stories]
  7. [Jan 2023] – Short story “The Why and the How” in Mean Pepper Vine

Published:

  1. December 2022 – Short story “Retreat” in Constellations anthology Vol. 12 Uncertainty
    http://www.constellations-lit.com/issues/issues/vol12.html
    Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0BQYBTBGG/astheappletur-20?creative=327641&camp=14573&link_code=as1
  1. December 2022 – “Sunday Afternoon” in Scribes Microfiction:
    https://www.fairfieldscribes.com/issue-24.html
  2. December 2022 – Flash story “Backsides” in Mid-Atlantic Review:
    https://www.bowiestate.edu/academics/colleges/college-of-arts-and-sciences/departments/language-literature-and-cultural-studies/ceamag/ceamarvolume302023.pdf
  3. November 2022 – Short essay “Let the Wine Mature” in Writer Shed Press’s Medium edition https://medium.com/the-writer-shed/take-your-time-dde36a179ad1
  4. November 2022 – Microstory “The Doll” in Fairfield Scribes Issue #23: https://www.fairfieldscribes.com/issue-23.html
  1. August 2022 – Short story “Mothers & Sons” in The Bombay Lit Mag, Issue #52:
    https://bombaylitmag.com/category/issue-52/
    https://bombaylitmag.com/mothers-and-sons/
  2. July 2022 – Novelette “To Decide Or Not to Decide” in the Summer 2022 issue of The Courtship of the Winds:
    The issue: https://www.thecourtshipofwinds.org/issue-10-2
    My story: https://www.thecourtshipofwinds.org/amita-basu
  3. July 2022 – Micro/flash collection *One Day* in Mean Pepper Vine:
    https://meanpeppervine.com/one-day/
  4. June 2022 – Flash story “The Hours” in The Bookends Review:
    http://thebookendsreview.com/2022/06/02/the-hours/
  5. May 2022 – Short story “Last Day of Freedom” in Funemployment Vol. 1: Print: https://funemployment.xyz/product/funemployment-quarterly-spring-of-year-one/ Virtual: https://funemployment.xyz/product/funemployment-quarterly-spring-of-year-one-virtual/
  1. May 2022 – Flash story “Waiting” in The Penn Review Vol. 71:
    https://www.pennreview.org/#/no-71/
    https://www.pennreview.org/waiting
  2. May 2022 – Microstory “Highway” in Fairfield Scribes Micro:
    http://www.fairfieldscribes.com/issue-17.html
  3. Mar 2022 – Magic realist short story “The Why and the How” in Bewildering Stories
    http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue940/why_how1.html
    Featured in BwS Editors’ Choice: http://www.bewilderingstories.com/anthologies/anthos2022/932-942_antho.html
    Voted as best Short Fiction (“Hubble”) for this quarter’s issues, & best overall prose title (“the Perseus arm”), ditto
  4. Feb 2022 – Flash story “Fish” in Bandit Fiction (repub)
    https://banditfiction.com/2022/02/12/fish-by-amita-basu/
  5. Jan 2022 – Flash story “School Trip” in Sledgehammer
    https://www.sledgehammerlit.com/post/school-trip-by-amita-basu
  6. Jan 2022 – Short story “Rush” in The Black Fork Review
    https://blackforkreview.com/amita-basu
    https://iris-apricot-t8m8.squarespace.com/amita-basu

What I Wrote – Works in Progress:

Plotted, outlined, and began drafting Evening, a contemporary literary realist novel.

Was working on the alternative history/pseudohistory novel Mirror before shelving it this March. I’d been working on this project on and off since September 2020, when it began as a novelette. I abandoned it because it needs reflection and condensing.

WIPs: Short stories I’ve drafted and partially revised this year but not yet submitted:

Better Late Than Never

Conversations: the Maid

The Problem

(Several micros)

Shoes

Getting Lost

Walking

Missions

Sanctuary

The Sacrifice

The Mistake

Hope

Trap

The Flat

WIPs: Novelettes and novellas I’ve drafted and partially revised this year but not yet submitted:

The Toy Soldier

Growing Pains (earlier titled: Love in the Jungle)

S vs. D (earlier titled: Midnight Blue, and even earlier: While I Was Shitting)

Fault

The Photograph

The Ants Are Thirsty

How I Learned About Cars

How I Fared:

Read a lot, but not enough. Several unfinished WIPs. A fair number of publications, including in four good magazines (The Penn Review, The Dalhousie Review, Bamboo Ridge, and The Bombay Lit Mag). Attended my first writing workshop, online; it was fruitful. Joined the volunteer staff of two lit mags. Grew my circle of critique partners. Spent most of the year working on short fiction, a new experience for me. Discovered several authors I plan to read more of: Peter Cameron, George Saunders, Deborah Eisenberg, Tennessee Williams, Eugene Ionesco, Voltaire, Turgenev, and Geoff Dyer. Revisited some beloved authors: Shakespeare, Stendhal, Wodehouse, Kenneth Grahame, and of course Dickens.

Here’s to a better 2023 for us all.

END

PORTFOLIO of published and upcoming works

By Amita Basu

I'm a writer based in Bangalore, India.

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