What can I say? I'm long-winded. I've tried writing short stories, but it has often proved a form beyond my art. I'm left in the company of novelists such as Thomas Mann, one of my spiritual fathers, who writes "short stories" of 40 or 50 pages.

I've therefore got my nerve calling any story I write a "short" story; better to call them what they really are: novellas. Short novels, meant to be read in several readings.

What follows is a short sampling of my novellas; one of them was written for a novel writing contest.