Help Needed from Readerly Friends

I’m writing a course proposal for a class I’m unoriginally calling “Weird Stories”. So: stories that don’t do anything expected or familiar either in terms of form or content. Here are some texts I might use:

Donald Barthelme, “On the Deck”
Lydia Davis, “Marie Curie, So Honorable Woman”
Franz Kafka, “The Country Doctor”
Nikolai Gogol, “The Nose”
David Foster Wallace, “Oblivion”
J. Robert Lennon, “The Accursed Objects”
Christine Schutt, “You Drive”
Kelly Link, “Lull”

Speaking of lulls, I’ve got one in my thinking. Can anyone help me think of stories that are great, mostly in the way they flat-out confuse or confound their readers?

3 thoughts on “Help Needed from Readerly Friends”

  1. This is fun. It makes me want to go down to our storage unit and dig through all our books. There must be some Haruki Murakami stories that fit the bill. Speaking of Japanese writers, I’d recommend taking a look at the short story collection “Toddler Hunting” of Kono Taeko if you can find a copy.

  2. Hmmm…off the top of my head (and at 7:30 in the morning) all I can think of is Calvino’s Invisible Cities, which is actually a novel, not a story, although all of the sections are really, really short.

    I’ll maybe get back to you.

  3. Hey Dave,

    Ben Marcus has a piece in Age of Wire & String called The Animal Husband, which will surely confuse your students (in an awesome way). George Saunders’s Sea Oak is weird, Amy Bender has some weird ones, what about John Barth’s Night Sea Journey from Lost in the Funhouse – a story from the pov of a sperm is pretty weird…..

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