Short stories have the power to entertain, inform, and even heal. Interpreting stories, uncovering the author’s message, is a challenging task. That task is the goal of this study group. Each week we will dissect two complex stories by two different master authors. During a lively exchange of interpretations, participants learn from one another and refine their own positions. At discussion’s end we hope participants will have a clearer sense of the author’s words and, week by week, become more adept at literary interpretation. There are no prerequisites. The coordinators will provide any necessary definitions of literary terms, as well as guidance on how to lead a discussion. The books we will use as our texts are: Old Babes in the Woods by Margaret Atwood (Doubleday, 2023); Damage Control by Amber Dermont (St. Martin's Press, 2013); Bonds of Love and Blood by Marylee MacDonald (Grand Canyon Press, 2018); and Orange World by Karen Russell (Vintage, 2020).