1. “The Cat’s Table” by Michael Ondaatje
The New Yorker, May 16, 2011
Ondaatje has a novel, also titled “The Cat’s Table,” coming out September, 2011. Yet this beautiful story – about a boy on a ship headed for a new world – feels complete in and of itself.

They were joking among themselves in the way that those whose lives are safe and comfortable do …

2. “Corrie” by Alice Munro
The New Yorker, October 11, 2010
A wealthy, physically impaired woman, a love affair with a married man, and a heartbreaking choice.

But then there is a surprise. She is capable, still, of shaping up another possibility.


3. “Rollingwood” by Ben Marcus
The New Yorker, March 21, 2011
A man struggles to take care of his asthmatic son, with no help from the boy’s mother.

When they were naming him, he had let the boy’s mother choose, thinking that he should pick his battles. She had been so sure about it, and Mather had found that he could not think of a single name that didn’t make him feel uneasy when he said it out loud.