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“Can you help me find a short story I read in high school? I want to read it again, but I can’t remember what it’s called or who wrote it.”

At the Newton Falls Public Library, we understand how discouraging it can be when you can’t find what you’re looking for. Our patron remembered that the story was about a son going through his father’s belongings to discover that he had been a prisoner of war in Vietnam. She also remembered that her high school had used the Language of Literature textbooks.

Putting “Language of Literature” into an online search engine brought up http://www.classzone.com/literature.cfm, which gives a list of all the Language of Literature textbooks along with short summaries of the contents. After browsing the summaries, our patron found the story she was looking for: David McLean’s “Marine Corps Issue.”

Searching ‘”David McLean” “Marine Corps Issue”’ turned up a lot of study guides, since it still seems to be a popular story to teach in schools. However, we did manage to find an archived review that David McLean had written [http://www.smallbytes.net/~bobkat/jest8.html]. At the end of the article, there was a brief biography noting that “Marine Corps Issue” had been published in Prize Stories 1994: The O. Henry Awards. Our patron was very excited to be able to track down a copy to reread.

CLEVNET carries many volumes collecting the O. Henry Prize stories, including the 1994 edition [http://clevnet.bibliocommons.com/item/show/163654048_prize_stories]. If our patron is interested in browsing through more short story anthologies, the Newton Falls Public Library carries a variety of different collections, including the “Cold Noses and Warm Hearts: Beloved Dog Stories by Great Authors,” “The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm,” and “After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia.”

 

For answers to your questions, visit the Newton Falls Public Library, 204 S. Canal Street, Newton Falls or phone 330-872-1282. For information about all the free library programs or hours, visit our website at www.newtonfalls.org or our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/NewtonFallsLibrary.