Not typically considered a magical realist writer, Diane Williams’ stories do often play in the odd and weird spaces of reality. Primarily a short short story writer (flash or micro shorts) “The Dog” and “The Man” offer a fantastic and compact example of how one might subtly weave the surreal and/or magical realist moments into very real landscapes. In these examples, we see how the writer can use overlapping identities in order to create a sense of larger surreality and socio-political layerings within linked stories and/or a longer work.

The Dog

She had every reason to think that he had had a good time with her when he licked thoroughly with his strong tongue the perviate parts of her body. She was in bed when he did this. He was her best friend.

When she awoke the next morning, she smelled the sweet lilac and the roses in her garden–she was aware of the thump of his tail–and felt a breeze spring in through the window screen.

She ate a small piece of fish for her breakfast. She hummed a little tune to herself–and when she opened a drawer, she observed an old crumb from some food in there and she thought, this is unbelievable. 

Her husband, Frank, came in for his breakfast. Frank is clever, of course. 

She said to Frank, “Sit!”

Really, she could not understand at that time why Frank didn’t.

The Man

It was the best week of his life. I wasn’t there for much of it. He used to try to copulate with my boyfriends when they’d come to the house and he’d chase around and chase around. He’d come when I called his name, and I would go wild screaming his name until he came running to me faster than I could ever run, so I’d sink to my knees sometimes to get down on his level with him, with his excitement, which was often running rampant. His bed was filthy where he rested and slept. He ate with gusto, made a great noise and drank what he drank with a power to drink I will not ever forget. He influenced me a lot.


Diane Williams is the author of several excellent collections of short stories, including Some Sexual Success Stories: Plus Other Stories in Which God Might Choose to AppearExcitabilityRomancer Erector, and many others. She is also the editor of the literary journal Noon

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The Editors
The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review was founded in 2010 as an online and print literary and arts journal. We take our title from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and include the full archives of our predecessor Moon Milk Review. Our aesthetic is eclectic, literary mainstream to experimental. We appreciate fusion forms including magical realist, surrealist, meta- realist and realist works with an offbeat spin. We value character-focused storytelling and language and welcome both edge and mainstream with punch aesthetics. We like humor that explores the gritty realities of world and human experiences. Our issues include original content from both emerging and established writers, poets, artists and comedians such as authors, Rick Moody, Cris Mazza, Steve Almond, Stephen Dixon, poets, Moira Egan and David Wagoner and actor/comedian, Zach Galifianakis.