Ugly Short Stories

I have been reading more short stories as mentor/master texts and analyzing them. The Story Grid book and podcast has come onto my radar recently which is causing me to look at the construction of stories and novels and movies with a whole different lens.


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I read “Ugly” recently by Mary Gordon. This story was surprising to me in several ways. Laura is being sent away by the company to fix an issue at a satellite location. Laura is dealing with her imposter syndrome. Her job is in human resources but she really longs for the time she was a grad student and wanting to pursue her dissertation about rose poems. There are little details that are woven into the story that come up in interesting ways later within the text. There is a theme of unfulfilled dreams and self-worth.  Laura doesn’t seem to fit into any of the aspects of her life. She feels unsuitable for the places she loves

The furniture description is an endearing piece of the story. Laura has a respite from her life but then goes right back to it again. There are things and people that Laura does not think are ugly but then they get described as ugly by the boyfriend and therefore taints her view. Because she isn’t strong enough so allows his opinion to become her own.

I hope to read some more from this author.

Have you read any great short stories lately?


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