Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Short Post On Short Stories

Bookfox has an excellent list of best collections of short stories of the decade, and links to another list on the AV Club blog. The two titles both lists have in common are Pastoralia by George Saunders and Runaway by Alice Munroe.

Perhaps there are others you could add yourselves? I am surprised not to see Yiyun Li on the list ...

Lately ... the short story seems poised to get its due. This fall, a handful of collections from writers such as Alice Munro, Lydia Davis, Kazuo Ishiguro and Ha Jin have put a dent in the dominant view of short stories as an inferior cousin to the Great American Novel. And changing technology and reading habits have provided a boost for short fiction as more readers discover literature through online literary journals and Web sites, or download short fiction onto mobile devices
says Alexandra Alter in The Wall Street Journal. And indeed, The Atlantic Monthly is going to be the first magazine to sell short stories for the Kindle. The e-book format looks like it is going to give a real boost to the genre, and also to the novella.

One important bit of short story news I forgot to post - the BBC National Short Story Award was won by poet Kate Clancy for her story The Not-Dead and the Saved is apparently only the third piece of short fiction she has ever completed! Prospect Magazine has very kindly put the story up for us online to enjoy.


Sufian said...

George Saunders is really good. My discovery this year:

1.Leonard Michaels (The Collected Stories)
2. Rust & Bones (Craig Davidson)
3. Like you'd understand (Jim Shepard)
4. Bedroom Eyes (Amy Yamada)
5. Tell Me (Mary Robison)

Fadz said...

Thanks for sharing this, Sharon. The story, though filled with adverbs and has a peculiar style, is a profound one. Her poet's voice resonates throughout the story, with an almost musical choice of words (I've come across this style in other poet/short story writers' works at WDC).

And the story itself, the essence of it, well, I still get goosebumps even hours after reading it. It's a well-deserved win.

katztales said...

Like this one, Sharon. I wanted to ask if there is a Readings this month?

bibliobibuli said...

i thought about it Ellen, but realise that so many people will be away or busy the last weekend dec. think the next one should be january instead for our fifth anniversary! will be organising one or two other things though when i can get my lazy self into gear.

University said...

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post us and leave a comment back and we will link to you. Thanks Jen , Blog Baker-University

Rebecca Ilham said...

Hi Sharon,

George Saunders is my alma mater (from Colorado School of Mines) and I have had the pleasure of meeting him about two years ago when he was invited for book-reading session organized by the Liberal Arts Division.

He is an amazing, down-to-earth guy who is very supportive at encouraging others to write. I am not necessarily a big fan of his works but I like him as a person for sure :)