That Glimpse of Truth, 100 of the finest short stories ever written. Chosen by David Miller
Under the Rose by Julia O’Faolain
The Personage of Dan’s youth lay in the grasslands watered by the river Shannon, flat country shadowed by those cloud formations known as mackerel backs and mare’s tails—arrangements as chameleon as himself. He was a bright-haired, smiling boy, who first reached Dublin in 1943, a time when the Japanese minister rode with a local hunt and the German one did not always get the cold shoulder. Dan’s allegiance was to the noble Soviets, but he was alive, too, to sexual raciness blown in like pollen from the war zones. Change fizzed; neurality opened fields of choice, and values had rarely been shiftier.
The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
You thought everybody in America had a car and a gun; your uncles and aunts and cousins thought so too. Right after you won the American visa lottery, they told you: In a month, you will have a big car. Soon, a big house. But don’t buy a gun like those Americans.
Many people at the restaurant asked when you had come from Jamaica, because they thought every black person with a foreign accent was Jamaican. Or some who guessed you were African told you that they loved elephants and wanted to go on a Safari.