A collection of short stories

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Contents

  1. The 10 best short story collections
  2. 19 Must-Read Collections for Short Story Month | Penguin Random House
  3. Electric Literature’s 15 Best Short Story Collections of 2017

The best short stories should haunt you for days and weeks.

They are linked by a unity of place — the fenlands of Norfolk and Cambridge — and by precise, elegant prose that elevates everyday occurrences into small, perfectly rendered pieces of art. Possibly the most economical short story writer in this list, Carver, with his precise, punchy prose, conveys in a few words what many novelists take several pages to elucidate. Adichie had written two novels set in her native Nigeria before this collection.

The 10 best short story collections

It shifts her gaze to the US in 12 stories that explore the experiences of husbands and wives, parents and children, immigrants and permanent residents. The title story delves into the loneliness suffered by a Nigerian girl who moves to an America far removed from her imaginings. A wise and emotive writer, in this collection Adichie touches on her familiar themes of exile, cultural miscommunications and the human desire to reconcile internal and external worlds.


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She also won the Man Booker International prize for her lifetime body of work and has been called a modern-day Chekhov. A pioneering modernist writer, Mansfield was born and brought up in colonial New Zealand before moving to Britain, where she became friends with DH Lawrence and Virginia Woolf. The title story, one of her best-known works, is written in the modernist style, with the deceptively simple setting of a family preparing for a garden party.

19 Must-Read Collections for Short Story Month | Penguin Random House

Against this backdrop Mansfield brilliantly interweaves meditations on class, life and death, illusion and reality. He is brilliant at evoking social nuance and has an unfailing eye for the tiniest detail that will shine light on the whole. Read our interview with Carmen Maria Machado about her book cover.

Each scene is a right hook of eloquent depravity. Each sentence is a hand-crafted bullet. Read our review of Homesick for Another World.

Electric Literature’s 15 Best Short Story Collections of 2017

Read our interview with Jenny Zhang. Read our interview with Chanelle Benz. But his work is bigger than just humor or sentiment: Read our interview with Viet Thanh Nguyen.

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If that sounds like your kind of thing, these bleak, strange, sometimes frustrating, but always self-aware stories may be right up your alley.