There are towns called Halfway all over the place - for example, one just south of Sheffield, another near Llandovery in Wales, where our good friends the Keyser/Devlins live. Living in a town called Halfway might feel like living in limbo - as in limbus, the edge of hell, etc, rather than the bendy-backed Trinidadian dance.
A digression: our family went on holiday to Fiji in 1975, and the best night of all (in my nine-year-old opinion) was the evening during a boat trip through the Yasawa islands, when we all rowed ashore for a barbeque, sing-song and limbo contest.
This is my sister, me, and my brother on that holiday. We all look pretty much the same now.
We've halfway through the year - more than halfway, if July 2nd is the midpoint. That means I'm halfway through my reading project for this year, a short story a day. Unwittingly I've duplicated one author - Steven Millhauser. My story #143 was his 'Thirteen Wives' from a recent New Yorker, forgetting that I'd read his 1998 story ‘The Visit’ as #61. So I've replaced it with 'Miriam' by Truman Capote, his first published story; it appeared in Mademoiselle in June 1945, not long before his 21st birthday.
Today is July 13th, the 195th day of the year. Here's the list from 161-195:
161: ‘A City of the Living, A City of the Dead’ by Nadine Gordimer (1982)
162: ‘The Lone Ranger & Tonto Fistfight in Heaven’ by Sherman Alexie (1993)
163: ‘L Is For Lovers’ by Mary Lavin (1943)
164: ‘A Summer Day’ by Jean Stafford (1948)
165: ‘Two Kinds’ by Amy Tan (1989)
166: ‘The Place of Its Quietude’ by Luisa Valenzuela (1988)
167: ‘Migration’ by Ray French (2010)
168: ‘The Moths’ by Helena Maria Viramontes (1985)
169: ‘Night Women’ by Edwidge Danticat (1991)
170: ‘From A to Z’ by Susan Glaspell (1909)
171: ‘The Music Box’ by Malachi Whitaker (1929)
172: ‘Zelig’ by Benjamin Rosenblatt (1915)
173: ‘Loser’ by Val Mulkerns (1978)
174: ‘The Other Woman’ by Sherwood Anderson (1920)
175: ‘The Triangle’ by James Stephens (1913)
176: ‘The Dark Arts’ by Ben Marcus (2013)
177: ‘A Protagonist’s Nemesis’ by Lydia Mischkuling (2009)
178: ‘Malcontent’s Monologue’ by Daniel Batliner (2012)
179: ‘The Indian Uprising’ by Donald Barthelme (1968)
180: ‘Distant View of a Minaret’ by Alifa Rifaat (1983)
181: ‘Before the Breakip’ by Balla (2005)
182: ‘Bettering Myself ‘ by Ottessa Moshfegh (2013)
183: ‘Sold’ by Wendell Berry (2011)
184: ‘Young Goodman Brown’ by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1835)
185: ‘The Smallest Woman in the World’ by Clarice Lispector (1960)
186: ‘The Management of Grief’ by Bharati Mukherjee (1988)
187: ‘Wilshire Bus’ by Hisaye Yamamoto (1950)
188: ‘The Accident’ by Gao Xingjian (1983)
189: ‘The Santosbrazzi Killer’ by Heidi Julavits (2009)
190: ‘Cherry’ by Su Tong (1996)
191: ‘Wunderkind’ by Carson McCullers (1936)
192: ‘The Vengeance of Nitocris’ by Tennessee Williams (1928)
193: ‘Because of the Waters of the Flood’ by Mark Helprin (1969)
194: ‘Mademoiselle Claude’ by Henry Miller (1931)
195: ‘The Daring Young Men on the Flying Trapeze’ by William Saroyan (1933)
I'm still trying to range in time and geography, and not to repeat authors, or to read stories I've read before. The 1994 anthology First Fiction is proving very useful. Of course, it's easy to read off-piste - when I have a new George Saunders collection in hand, say, I'm not going to stop at one story - but for this project I can only count one per author. Also, I've become obsessive about finding the original publication date. One story I read last week - 'Snapshot' by Akos Kertesz - I haven't included because I can't locate its original publication date anywhere. I found the story in Present Continuous, an anthology of contemporary Hungarian fiction from 1985, but I don't think it was published there for the first time.
Yes, I've turned reading a short story into a way of wasting time doing 'research.'
My lovely Tulane colleague Barry Ahearn has recommended 'The Walls of Avila' by Evan S. Connell. (I've only read Connell's nonfiction - specifically Son of the Morning Star, which incited a GAC obsession that included a trip to West Point to see his grave.) Any other recommendations, especially of stories in translation, would be welcome. I still have five months of story-reading to go. Next month, when I'll be laid up for weeks after a foot operation, I'm also embarking on reading as many English novels as possible. It'll be my very own Festival of Britain.