Anyway, I was skimming through a huge book called The Art of the Story, edited by Daniel Halpern, a book I bought with three friends to read together but we never did; and I came across a good Russel Banks story called, "My Mother's Memoirs, My Father's Lie, And Other True Stories." You can read it here at Vanity Fair. There's a misprint in the Vanity Fair version. The story really ends with this sentence "Who would listen?" The last sentence is a repeat of a sentence higher up in the story.
In any case, if I were a professor or teacher I would have my students read this story (even poets because we're telling stories in our own way). This story is a little gem about telling stories, why we tell them and how we tell them. It's also a great story about how we're searching for intimacy when we tell stories.
The narrator describes how his mother seeks intimacy with big, false stories. Then he describes how his father seeks intimacy with self-absorbed, false family history. Then, at the end, there is a moment of real intimacy when his mother tells a very honest but structurally flawed story.
And there's the heart and emotion of the piece, how flaws (and flawed moments) work in ways other more dramatic tactics do not.
It's not only a good writing lesson, but a good life lesson.