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List of Prize-Winning Short Story Collections Too Short

Posted 9/30/2009

In this week's Big Books Issue, the article "Let's Get Short" (Sept. 23) states that only four short-story collections have received the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Actually, there have been two more winners in recent times: Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies (2000) and Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge (2009).

Gail Johnson

Terror Suspect

Responding to the review by Ian Grey of a movie on the Baader-Meinhof left terrorist group in Germany ("Revolution Nein," Film, Sept. 23): This review, to me, seems simplistic. The author piles on with endless put downs: "young people spouting leftist vagaries" (although I like the pompous sound of that), or "anarchistic shits and giggles," or "eventually you get sick of the lot of them and try relating to the middle-aged anti-terrorist experts," even though they "are Nazis," etc. etc. etc.

The real issues seem left out of this review. For example, if terrorism means that wealth is concentrated into the hands of a few at the expense of the many--or terrorism means poverty and many going to bed at night without food or shelter around the world--how do the Baader-Meinhofs stack up then?

This review seems written by a juvenile right-winger who has not scratched the surface of issues. To whom I would say (and I'm a Christian pacifist/Marxist revolutionary), "Up against the wall motherfukka!" I think Ian needs to spend some time at Red Emma's.

Dave Eberhardt

Red Lining

Michael Byrne's article on the Red Line project was thoughtful ("Red Line Fever," Mobtown Beat, Sept. 23). For residents that live along Boston Street, it is not the property values of concern but the congestion. With all the east-side development, including 1st Mariner Tower, the traffic levels have increased considerably over the last few years. Boston Street now has the volume of an interstate with commuters funneling into single-lane traffic in Canton with little regard for area residents, and continued development goes on. Therefore, it is hard for locals to see how the Red Line will reduce traffic not to mention the future construction issues.

Thomas Hall

The MTA Red Line plan is bad for everyone, not just Canton ("Best NIMBY," Best of Baltimore, Sept. 16). Independent transit riders' groups and planners are also against it.

The Red Line advantages City Paper cites are due only to recent design advances in the vehicles themselves, for which the MTA can take no credit. The MTA has attempted to cram those vehicles into the city like square pegs into round holes. On Boston Street, Canton would get a giant open-walled subway portal squeezed inside a road, reduced to a single screaming traffic lane rammed up against the sidewalks. It's not the loss of parking as much as what would take its place.

Downtown, the MTA wants to put the Red Line into an expensive pseudo-subway that runs two blocks away from a real subway. The MTA Red Line combines all the disadvantages of a real subway (cost, remoteness, construction disruption, inflexibility) and none of the advantages (speed, capacity, safety, security, system integration and expandability). And since the new tunnel would cost nearly as much as a real subway, built from scratch and much more than adding onto the subway we've already got, the MTA is being forced to "go cheap" to make the numbers work. The single reversible track tunnel under Cooks Lane is but the first of what promises to be many kludges as the engineering details and cost overruns emerge.

The latest generation light-rail vehicles are, indeed, great. The sensible thing to do would be to use them to create a surface streetcar system that could be truly integrated into the Inner Harbor, Harbor East, and, yes, even Canton, to enhance our urban streetscapes. At the same time, we should incrementally add on to our existing Metro to the east and west (almost all above ground) to create the kind of real, integrated, cost-effective regionally-oriented system we've been trying to build since the 1960s.

But what do you expect from our MTA except to flail from one transit failure to the next?

Gerald Neily

The writer runs the web site

More Best of

Thanks very much for naming Ignite Baltimore as "Best Nerd's Night Out." It was wonderful to receive this award! We're working hard to make the event as inclusive and topically diverse as possible, so we invite anyone who has something enlightening or entertaining to say to propose a topic on our web site:

Mike Subelsky
Co-organizer, Ignite Baltimore

Wow! What a pleasant surprise!

At my age (77) it's reassuring, as well as a bit flattering, to know that, in addition to my immediate family and a few close friends, there are others out there in radio land who listen to my program on Friday nights. "Best Local Radio Show"? That's heady stuff and very much appreciated.

Ken Jackson
In The Mood, WYPR-FM (88.1)

Thank you so much for the Best of Baltimore award ("Best Pit Beef"). We do have a location: We are on the corner of Light and Redwood streets.

Maria Kaimakis

We're Going Straight to Hell

I really am a fan of your paper. I understand that you promote a very open-minded view of the world we are living in. Even when I might disagree with an article, I believe it is important to respect the opinions of the author. After reading this comic "You're All Going Straight to Hell!" (Dirt Farm, Sept. 23) I have to write saying it feels this comic goes too far. One can make a point without being so offensive and disrespectful. Extreme polarization never brings about healthy results. I have no qualms with Ben Claassen III's beliefs, but the way he has communicated them here.

Barry Hammons

Editor's note: Remember, we're now soliciting entries for our annual Fiction and Poetry Contest. Please turn to page 17 or visit for details.

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