A young woman remembers the glory days when she was semi-famous in Milwaukee, before the haters took her down.
Forty different ways writers torture their characters.
A writer struggles to get a hold of the story of his grandmother-in-law's Christmas wish, for a bench that will sit by her tombstone.
A girl goes with her father to see his mistress regularly. When her father dies, she pays the mistress one last visit and learns something surprising.
A woman in Buenos Aires starts sleeping with an effete American. Together they get away to Paraguay, where the man's naïveté and weakness is laid bare.
Masked guests assembled for an anonymous ritual attend a play within a play: the illustration of the death experience.
A teacher has a student to her house and helps the student unwind her obsession with the painter Marsden Hartley, The student realizes the fixation first began with an older man and a midnight walk in Paris.
A woman whose wife is dying in the hospital meditates on the meaning of life.
A man heading into adulthood and marriage hires a day laborer to help him move his things out of storage. But the day laborer bears a resemblance to the young man's abusive stepfather, and miscommunications between the two escalate to violence.
The narrator recounts six brushes with rape in college. In short troubling episodes, he describes things he heard and victims he met—both accuser and accused.