On Short Stories

KeskusteluClub Read 2023

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On Short Stories

helmikuu 12, 3:56 pm

I used to not like short stories which was silly as I’d never read any. Then in 2009 stuck in a doctor’s waiting-room, I picked up a New Yorker magazine and read a short story called The Slows. Years passed with no short stories and then I bought Antarctica by Claire Keegan, having exhausted all of her other books in audio, and being too depressed to even think of trying a new novelist.

The first titular story was stunning. Dark, edgy, humorous, a page-turner, and well-written as is all Keegan’s work.

I’ve found short stories help me in times of stress and depression, when I can’t concentrate or feel I don’t have the mental and emotional strength to handle a novel. To misquote George Harrison, in times of trouble short stories comfort me.

helmikuu 13, 7:46 am

I don't read a lot of short stories either, Kathleen, or at least that's what I thought. But when I went to my LT catalog, I realized I've read more than I thought. Here's a list of my favorites:

Children of the Holocaust by Arnošt Lustig
Short Stories of Mark Twain
The Crazy iris and other stories of the atomic aftermath anthology edited by Kenzaburō Ōe
Say you're one of them by Uwem Akpan
The road by Vasily Grossman
Talking to the enemy : stories by Avner Mandelman
The Wedding of Zein and Other Stories by Tayeb Salih
Great Soviet short stories
The complete tales of Nikolai Gogol
The Complete Prose Tales of Alexandr Sergeyevitch Pushkin

Also good:
Twenty stories by Turkish women writers
A good man is hard to find and other stories by Flannery O'Connor
Stories from the vinyl cafe by Stuart McLean
Naftali the Storyteller and His Horse, Sus, and other stories by I B Singer

helmikuu 13, 8:46 am

Among my favorite short story writers:
Sylvia Townsend Warner
William Trevor

helmikuu 13, 11:42 am

Oh, a few from my list
Alice Munro
Mavis Gallant
Isaac Babel
Katherine Mansfield
Heather O'Neill - I think that I like her short stories better than her novels
I have more .......

helmikuu 13, 12:17 pm

I enjoy reading short stories. As a lot of folks around here know, I tend to go through short story collections gradually, reading a story or two between the novels, histories or biographies I read straight through. I find that breaking up the short stories in that way provides a nice rest between longer works, and also serves to keep the stories in a collection from running together for me.

Favorite short story writers for me include:
Flannery O'Connor
James Baldwin
Isaac B. Singer

A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin is an excellent collection.
I've also been very much enjoying a collection called Spring Sowing by Irish author Liam O'Flaherty that was published in 1926.

I've also enjoyed the annual Best of short story collections edited by Martha Foley for many years. I recently completed the 1957 edition.

helmikuu 13, 12:42 pm

Lots of great suggestions here. I'd add Stephen King, and Alistair MacLeod as great short story writers. One type of short story collection I really like, I call 'connected short stories' (there is a tag as such) and while the stories are separate, there are overlapping characters, or maybe it has different characters around the same event.

Two I've already read this year:
Jollof Rice and other Revolutions and Stories from the Tenants Downstairs both quite good.
Olive Kitteredge, The Tsar of Love and Techno, Girl, Woman, Other are some other good examples.

helmikuu 14, 2:44 pm

I had a collection of Canadian zombie stories I liked. I will try to look up the anthology title if anyone is interested in that type of niche ...

Also used to keep The Complete Saki in my office at work and would read one at lunch sometimes when I needed to get my head out of the here and now.

helmikuu 15, 7:04 pm

>8 dianeham: I read George Saunders regularly, but kind of fell off. Thanks for the reminder.

helmikuu 16, 5:22 am

>9 nohrt4me2: he’s reached his peak. Sadly.

helmikuu 16, 2:51 pm

>10 kjuliff: I didn't think Lincoln in the Bardo was that great, though interesting idea. But that was a novel, and I don't think he does as well with that longer form.

helmikuu 16, 7:10 pm

>11 nohrt4me2: I thought the audio version was great. I read somewhere they were doing an opera.

helmikuu 16, 7:32 pm

I read a lot more short stories than I used to, both single author collections (i.e. Bonnie Jo Campbell, Joyce Carol Oates, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, Paul Yoon, Lydia Millet, Victor Pelevin.... If I like an author I tend to want to read all or most of what they write and most write at least one short fiction collection.

Yipes! I have more than 200 single author collections in my library.

I also read anthologies, but according to my tag, I only have 88

helmikuu 16, 7:39 pm

A short story writer I just thought of is the wonderful Chilean author Francisco Coloane, from the island of Chiloe off Chile's southern coast. His collection, Tierra del Fuego, available in English translation, is very good.

helmikuu 16, 9:37 pm

>12 dianeham: Good Lord. Why do they have to trivialize everything by making an opera or a musical out of it?

helmikuu 17, 12:20 am

I am putting of reading Lincoln in the Bardo since reading Civil War in Bad Decline. I am thinking his later stories are superior, and it’s not as I thought; that I had a goldmine of George Saunders’ fiction ahead of me.