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Some Affection for Short Story Collections


Did you know May is National Short Story Month? I didn't either, which is why I'm blogging about it with just a week left in the month. But I stock up on short story collections at this time of year because I think they're a great way to get ready for the warm-weather. Short stories are bite-sized and non-committal--the perfect compliment to a summer that's strange, surprising, and spontaneous. (I also like owning short story collections more than I do novels, since I'm more likely to revisit them.) So I've listed a few new collections (some of which I'm looking forward to), a handful of tried-and-true classics, and a few from the past ten years that I believe are new classics.

If you have more short story recommendations, let us know in the comments!

New and Upcoming


New Classics

Photo courtesy of Sasha and the Silver Fish


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"Enterprise of Death"story is also add in the list.

I'm an avid fan of David Mitchell. I love his books. Excellent!

Last year's "Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self" by Danielle Evans was brilliant.

@Liz: I see what you're saying. You're looking for broad themes and a big whallop. True, you usually won't find the same kind of resolution in a short story, but great short stories pack just as much emotional punch as any novel. What's better is that you can re-read them again.

I think the best short story collection for you would be one that's thematically cohesive. I recommend Annie Proulx's "Close Range: Wyoming Stories" (one of which is the basis for the film "Brokeback Mountain"), which I really should have included in this post.

Coronado - Dennis Lehane.

OH! i second the miranda july recommendation!


I'm not saying that they are a cop out. I'm saying that they feel like one.

I dunno, I think it's because when I'm reading fiction I normally like big, thick novels with lots of big words and big ideas. I like the feeling of being challenged, or at least of being able to show that I'm taking on a challenge.

I don't like the Ernest Hemingway/Herta Muller style of writing - I prefer something to grab hold of. I love the nineteenth century doorstop novels, and authors like Marisha Pessl, as well as fantasy series.

I have no idea if this will help. :)

"Ghostwritten" by David Mitchell. A fantastic series of interconnected short stories by the best writer around.

@Liz: What do you mean when you say short stories are "an intellectual cop out"? If you can say a little more about that, I think we can find you the right short story collection :)

I'm unbelievably snobby when it comes to short stories. It feels like an intellectual cop out, even when compared to the most frothy of novels. (And yes, I realise that that is ridiculous.)

Is there any collection that anyone would recommend, that would be good for someone who normally leaves a person shaped hole in the wall whenever she faces the prospect of reading them? I keep wondering if I'm missing out, and I'd like to know firsthand if I am. It's just that there are so many and I have no idea of where to start.

My favorite short story collection is by Monica Wood...ERNIE'S ARK 0345477162.
Try will be happy that you did.

William Trevor's collected stories is an absolute must. Master of the form.

Miranda July's 'No One Belongs Here More Than You' is a must read collection. I am also hearing great things about Robert Boswell's 'The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards'.

"The Things They Carried" -- Tim O'Brien

I would add kiana Davenport's HOUSE OF SKIN PRIZE-WINNING STORIES. It's only $1.99 for the ebook.

Love Junot Diaz's collection. I'd also add Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguro. Look forward to looking at your blog!

Isaac Bashevis Singer is manadatory in this list, at least in my opinion.

I'd add Maile Meloy and Mary Gaitskill to this list.

How did spring become the province of poetry and stories?

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