Valerie Nieman: Worth (Deal Me In 2017 – Week 24)

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“Mind if I set up here?”

“Free country,” Doyle answered, then opened his hand out toward the water.


When I selected my stories for Deal Me In 2017, I noticed that many of the Appalachian stories had one-word titles while several of my New York City stories had very wordy titles by most standards.

As I’ve read the stories by Appalaciah authors I’ve also discovered that many of the characters are not all that chatty. In the case of Valerie Nieman’s short story “Worth”, Doyle encounters a stranger while he is fishing. The conversation between Doyle and the younger stranger doesn’t contain that many words; however, Doyle seems to have him pegged from the beginning – a kid who doesn’t have a job and doesn’t know the worth of a fish.

As I’m reading, I’m thinking “Isn’t it interesting how Doyle can be so intuitive with so few words exchanged”. And then in a twist that for the most part works, the reader realizes Doyle is completely wrong.

“Worth” is included in my copy of Degrees of Elevation: Short Stories of Contemporary Appalachia edited by Charles Dodd White and Page Seay. I read it when I selected the Three of Spades for Week 24 of my Deal Me In 2017 short story project. My Deal Me In list can be found here. Deal Me In is hosted by Jay at Bibliophilopolis.


One response to “Valerie Nieman: Worth (Deal Me In 2017 – Week 24)

  1. Pingback: Crystal Wilkinson: Holler (Deal Me In 2017 – Week 25) | Mirror with Clouds

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