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Good things come in small packages, so the cliche goes. These short story collections fit that description perfectly. Even with brief page counts these stories can make you laugh, check under the bed for monsters or sigh over the sweetness. Some even pack an emotional punch that will linger. Who said you needed a full novel to share a powerful narrative? Written prior to his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Sympathizer, this collection of Viet Thanh Nguyen's short stories have original publication dates sp Show more Written prior to his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Sympathizer, this collection of Viet Thanh Nguyen's short stories have original publication dates spanning over 20 years.
Dedicated to refugees everywhere, these stories focus in particular on the experience of Vietnamese refugees in America and larger questions of home, family and identity. Summer Days and Summer Nights. Edited by Stephanie Perkins, this collection of twelve stories all have two things in common: Written by a dozen popular YA authors, thes Show more Edited by Stephanie Perkins, this collection of twelve stories all have two things in common: Written by a dozen popular YA authors, these tales span genres and all kinds of romantic pairings. Want more and don't mind reading festive books out of season?
Consider picking up My True Love Gave to Me, also edited by Perkins, which features stories set during the holiday season. All copies in use. Streaming Audiobook - In true Neil Gaiman fashion, many of the short stories included in this collection begin normally and end with you thoroughly creeped out. Show more In true Neil Gaiman fashion, many of the short stories included in this collection begin normally and end with you thoroughly creeped out. Interspersed are humorous tales, a Doctor Who story that will delight Whovians and an un-illustrated version of The Spindle and the Sleeper.
If you love Gaiman, it's definitely one to pick up. Instantly available on hoopla. Roxane Gay's collection of short stories is a challenging read and yet, no matter the darkness or bleakness of some of the stories, each one is utterly co What if exposure to an alien language forever changed our perception of time? What if all the beliefs of fundamentalist Christianity were literally true, and the sight of sinners being swallowed into fiery pits were a routine event on city streets?
These are the kinds of outrageous questions posed by the stories of Ted Chiang. Sometimes you find you have crossed an invisible line and must cope, as best you can, with petulant princesses, vengeful owls, ladies who pass their time embroidering terrible fates or with endless paths in deep, dark woods and houses that never appear the same way twice.
Strange himself and the Raven King. Here, in small-town Massachusetts, after more than a decade of boom and bust, everyone is struggling to find their own version of the American dream: Doerr explores the human condition in all its varieties—metamorphosis, grief, fractured relationships, and slowly mending hearts—conjuring nature in both its beautiful abundance and crushing power. Some of the characters in these stories contend with hardships; some discover unique gifts; all are united by their ultimate deference to the ravishing universe outside themselves.
In her debut collection of short fiction, Due takes us to Gracetown, a small Florida town that has both literal and figurative ghost; into future scenarios that seem all too real; and provides empathetic portraits of those whose lives are touched by Otherness. Without abandoning the tenets of classic storytelling, Elliott revels in lush lyricism, dark humor, and experimental play. In these stories, Evenson unsettles us with the everyday and the extraordinary—the terror of living with the knowledge of all we cannot know.
In the hands of master storyteller Everett, the act of questioning leads to vistas more strange and unsettling than could ever have been expected. In July of , in Hardin County, Ohio, a boy sees ghosts. A teenage runaway and her mute brother seek salvation in houses, buses, the backseats of cars. Preteen girls dial up the ghosts of fat girls. A crew of bomber pilots addresses the ash of villagers below. A medical procedure reveals an object of worship. A carnivorous reptile divides and cauterizes a town. Crime is a motif—sex crimes, a possible murder, crimes of the heart.
Some of the love has depths, which are understood too late; some of the love is shallow, and also understood too late. Amy Gustine exhibits an extraordinary generosity toward her characters, instilling them with a thriving, vivid presence. She tackles eros and intimacy with a deceptively light touch, a keen awareness of how their nervous systems tangle and sometimes short-circuit, and a genius for revealing our most vulnerable, spirited selves.
Tied to their ancestral and adopted homelands in ways unimaginable in generations past, these memorable characters straddle both worlds but belong to none. These stories shine a light on immigrant families navigating a new America, straddling cultures and continents, veering between dream and disappointment. In this down and dirty debut she draws vivid portraits of bad people in worse places…A rising star of the new fast fiction, Hunter bares all before you can blink in her bold, beautiful stories.
In this collection of slim southern gothics, she offers an exploration not of the human heart but of the spine; mixing sex, violence and love into a harrowing, head-spinning read. Some readers noticed his nimble blending of humor with painful truths reminded them of George Saunders. But with his new collection, Jodzio creates a class of his own.
Kat Quickly is the author of The Awakening ( avg rating, 2 ratings, 2 reviews, published ), Infidelities - A Collection of seven short fictions . This new collection of stories offers a candid peek at infidelity in all its guises. The opening and closing fictions of Gunn's collection of short stories 'Infidelities'.
Gunn's speaker in the collection's prologue revels in her own presence in these stories, establishing that 'I was involved', 'I was always there', and highlighting her own difference from other writers characterised by James Joyce, whose short stories 'Dubliners', centred around the theme of the city, are somewhat similar in similar thematic arrangement to Gunn's tales which all probe the notion of 'Infidelities'. Unlike Joyce, and the impersonal artistry she sees him representing, Gunn's speaker declares: I'm not like him.
I'm not coming in on something and using it. I'm not discovering the story, and then writing it down. From the beginning, I was there. I'm not cold at all, you see. I'm in the midst. These are stories unlike the cold masculine ideal. These are something else, an essence of a person; a reclaiming of the confessional style that I have not seen many female writers trying to celebrate most are trying to escape this reductive label.
It is from this point that the short stories begin. The trouble with a writer-speaker proclaiming her difference - and, it is felt, superiority - to James Joyce is that it can very easily come across as an act of hubris that leaves a reader looking for reasons to put the book down. Gunn is obsessed with the artist-figure, as you can see in her non-fiction writings and in this preamble story, and this self-awareness and self-reflection can get a bit tedious. Just as the final story's speaker is desperately aware of all the different ways she might construct a story, Gunn's writer-character seems desperately aware of the many - and best - ways she might construct herself.
This self-awareness also permeates the other fictions: Bad enough that it happened, darling. It's hard to believe in them as people.
From one of the greatest modern writers, these stories, gathered from the nine collections published during her lifetime, follow an unbroken time line of success as a writer, from her adolescence to her death bed. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Doubling down on his push towards writing about adults, Men Without Women is a collection of seven short stories about love, loss and marital infidelity. Like George Saunders, Karen Russell, and David Mitchell, he pulls from a variety of genres with equal facility, employing the fantastic not to escape from reality but instead to interrogate it in provocative, unexpected ways. Against this backdrop Mansfield brilliantly interweaves meditations on class, life and death, illusion and reality. Here, in small-town Massachusetts, after more than a decade of boom and bust, everyone is struggling to find their own version of the American dream:
This problem of sameness continues in the collection. Perhaps the downside of being 'there' in each story, of being 'in the midst' of it, is that each story feels somehow caught up in the same one life that occurs over and over with a couple of notable exceptions. Gunn's protagonists are not just women, they are overwhelmingly middle-class women. One story takes place in a rural commuter village in Oxfordshire, as a woman walks through the covered market and sees a buddhist monk; the tells the sad story of a successful composer with homes in London and an unnamed Scottish island; the third is a tale of highbrow academia and exclusive parties; in the fourth an epiphany about a woman's life is triggered by the realisation that a Georgian house she and her partner are considering purchasing is not as large as it is in the online photos; the seventh takes place during open-air opera; the eight during a skiing holiday; the twelfth and final story is that of a housewife who then enrols on a university degree program to fulfil an old ambition.
I am in no way trying to suggest that middle-class narratives cannot be good, or interesting, or deep, or bold, but this repetition of class coupled with the narrative self-awareness feels a little indulgent at times. Having just read John Burnside's 'Something Like Happy' collection of short stories, focusing on the epiphanic moments of working-class individuals, I was deeply aware of the opportunities - the luxury of opportunities - these women had to act on their desires, and felt a greater frustration when they did not, or were too self-pitying.
Gunn's story 'A Story She Might Tell Herself' in particular was so stereotypically middle-class it was almost a farce: The image of her casting of her shoes to run barefoot through the forest as a metaphor for epiphany felt like a bad earth mother joke.
Obviously the stories dealing with death and implied abuse were moving, but it felt too much like Gunn uses these events to manipulate emotions where her narrative style fails to do so. I would, however, be doing the collection a huge disservice if I were not to mention the exceptions to what I have said so far. Set on a remote highland farm after a past tragedy, Gunn creates a powerfully realistic set of child characters as well as their elderly drunkard grandfather. The stories are unflinchingly violent, affecting, and the characterisation is perfect. Gunn's children are smarter than they are thought, far more emotional than one might initially believe, and far darker than we would want to imagine.
The harsh highland landscapes and the realities of rural poverty are the perfect backdrop for this collection of sad events.
It is interesting to note that, with the exception of 'The Caravan' - written about an elderly couple whose relationship is threatened by dementia - all these stories are written from children's perspectives. It seems that Gunn's adult writer is at her most skilful when she is not most obviously 'in the midst' of her fictions, but allows herself some imaginative distance. This is a good collection, but - surprisingly, considering I loved Gunn's 'The Big Music' - I was not a real fan of much of it, much as I wanted to be.
Oct 19, Anne Fenn rated it really liked it Shelves: I really enjoyed watching Kirsty Gunn at work on her short stories. I say watching because she has a method of standing outside what she writes. The title story Infidelities is a very good example of this. Some of her connected short fiction didn't add up to much for me.
The best story was Foxes. About a young woman among a group of her partners friends, it is a complete, substantial, detailed, beautiful, and subtly emotional account of a moment of change. Another thing I liked was the author's I really enjoyed watching Kirsty Gunn at work on her short stories. Another thing I liked was the author's writing about place - she does the Katherine Mansfield trick of making place both detailed and universal.
Her exception is Tangi, clearly set in NZ. Mar 08, Marcus Hobson rated it liked it. This is a curious collection of sixteen short stories if you count the 'prologue-like 'The start of it In my rush from one story to the next I missed the subtlety of the book being divided into three sections called Going Out, Staying Out and Never Coming Home. Remembering those sections might have helped to link the stories together as a more cohesive whole. The inside of the front cover informed me that these are "interwoven dramas" and for I while I was looking for a link between them.
I went back to look at the names of the characters in each of the tales. The name Richard is there twice, so is Helen and Elizabeth, but they are not the same people, and so I concluded that the stories are not linked beyond the themes of relationships and sometimes infidelities both real and imagined. I liked the settings for these stories, we move between London and the Scottish Highland and a couple of times to New Zealand where Kirsty Gunn was born. These are all places that are familiar to the author, places she works and lives, and her sense of those places, their landscapes and their stories is very present in the writing.
Being familiar with all of them myself made the stories resonate for me.
The tale called 'Elegy', set in London, brought back memories of living there for me, of leafy suburbs in North London and one street with a little pub at the end.