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A Perfect Day for a Bananafish: Mastering Short Texts

It would be hard to rate and review a piece of short fiction that has, at least, in my lifetime, become immortalised as one of the finest examples of succinct storytelling in even fewer words. The haunting breakdown in communication among the characters, an invisible antagonist, a visceral and skin-crawling reality that seems at once mid-century and yet chillingly modern - A Perfect Day for a Bananafish might have originally been published as a quick Short Fiction piece for The New Yorker in 1948 but it has, or should do, become the marker by which many writers analyse their own short stories' ability to compact every element of a full length work into five quick pages.

Photo Credit: @wildlandpages

Salinger - a much loved or despised writer in the Contemporary American genre - perhaps shows through Seymour Glass what he could never describe in his own biography. A further irony is the languid and leisurely environment in which the entire plot takes place - a stark contrast to the story's short length which, in turn, quickens the sense of urgency that the reader does not yet know is present.

Our review for this short story is this: it is an excellent piece of work regardless of length, publication date, or author. We recommend sourcing a copy from The New Yorker online when looking for a watertight example of storytelling, of brevity, and a quick dose of reality in how much is not needed when writing. If you yourself are taking a turn at writing short fiction or otherwise - be careful not to compare your project with this work: reference Bananafish for inspiration only.

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