If you don't already subscribe to the New Yorkers free fiction podcasts, I highly recommend it--the only thing better than reading great fiction is having someone else read it to you...you can sign up through the iTunes store or visit the New Yorker's podcast archive website to learn more.
I just heard Jennifer Egan read “The Reverse Bug,” by Lore Segal (and discuss it with The New Yorker’s fiction editor, Deborah Treisman). This is perhaps one of the best short stories ever--and the whole podcast is less than an hour, so go ahead and download it or listen to it now!
Writing teachers and gurus always talk about the subtle and not so subtle use of metaphor and symbolism--but most of us fear sounding like a soapbox when we try to tackle big issues. The "Reverse Bug" is an excellent example...In fact, this story is a Master class in the art of writing: how to draw characters, reveal setting and especially, how to employ stunning metaphor.
Again, to go to the New Yorker page where you can listen to or download the story, nicely read by Egan, for free, click here.
I'm writing today...