Short stories by Donald Barthelme

Donald Barthelme (April 7, 1931 – July 23, 1989) was an American short story writer and novelist known for his playful, postmodernist style of short fiction. Barthelme also worked as a newspaper reporter for the Houston Post, was managing editor of Location magazine, director of the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston (1961–1962), co-founder of Fiction (with Mark Mirsky and the assistance of Max and Marianne Frisch), and a professor at various universities. He also was one of the original founders of the University of Houston Creative Writing Program.

Listing 8 stories.

A woman looks for a place to live in a town entirely comprised of churches, (but discovers...)

In a lengthy dialogue, two men, possibly a psychologist and a patient, discuss adultery, sin, desire, and life.

Two men have been locked underground somewhere in Utah, Montana, or Idaho with instructions to wait for a monitor's signal then each turn a key in a lock simultaneously to fire a "bird" at an unknown target city. They also have guns and instructions to shoot the other if the other behaves strangely.

An insufferable white man offers advice to a well-read, unemployed Black man holding a sandwich-board sign on a street corner on race relations, physical appearance, and how to improve his handwriting and thereby advance himself in society.

A man is subpoenaed by Bureau of Compliance for not paying tax on the weekly allowance he gives a cyborg companion he built from human and machine parts. Unable to pay the outrageous tax and fee, he is forced to dissemble his ever-agreeable companion.

A woman tries to protect her emerald-baby from would-be thieves.

Two brothers reflect on how their late mother banned them from acting upon their desires for playing instruments and yet how they will always have new music to turn to for enjoyment.

A series of deaths leave students wondering about life. After watching their class's pet gerbil, fish and plants die, the students are left wondering if their school is cursed.