George Mackay Brown was a master of the short story form and prproduced a steady stream of short story collections as well as his poetry and novels. This selection explores his Orkney and the ups and downs of the crofters and fishermen there.
Throughout Proust’s life, nine of his short stories remained unseen – the writer never spoke of them. Why did he choose not to publish them along with the others? One possible answer is that he was developing his themes in preparation for his masterpiece, ‘In Search of Lost Time’; another is that the stories were too audacious – too near to life – for the censorious society of the time. In these stories we find an intimate picture of a young author full of darkness and melancholy, longing to reveal his true self to the world.
A man carries his girlfriend in the left-hand breast pocket of his shirt. During World War II, a young soldier searches the houses and barns of the families with whom he grew up. An astronaut wonders whether she can adapt to life back on Earth. In her second collection of short fiction, ‘100neHundred,’ Laura Besley explores a kaleidoscope of emotions through 100 stories of exactly 100 words.
‘If we want to understand what has been lost to time, there is no way other than through the exercise of imagination … imagination applied with delicate rather than broad strokes’. So wrote the award winning Japanese author Kyoko Nakajima of her story, ‘Things Remembered and Things Forgotten’, a piece that illuminates, as if by throwing a switch, the layers of wartime devastation that lie just below the surface of Tokyo’s insistently modern culture. The ten acclaimed stories in this collection are pervaded by an air of Japanese ghostliness. In beautifully crafted and deceptively light prose, Nakajima portrays men and women beset by cultural amnesia and unaware of how haunted they are – by fragmented memories of war and occupation, by fading traditions, by buildings lost to firestorms and bulldozers, by the spirits of their recent past.
A woman and man, parted a quarter of a century, reunite in a bar in New Orleans as the St Patrick’s Day parade goes by. A divorced suburban dad helps his daughter pick out a card for her friend who’s moving away. A group of friends in late middle age, all once promising, reunite for dinner when one of their number loses her husband, but the gathering splinters when bitter revelations about their shared past emerge. Two teenage boys sit in a drive-in, the air thick with the scent of gin and popcorn and longing. A visionary collection of luminous landscapes, of great moments in small lives, of the people we carry with us long after they are gone, ‘Sorry for Your Trouble’ takes disappointment, ageing, grief, love and marriage and silhouettes them against the heady backdrop of Irish America in the past and present.
Transgressive, foulmouthed, and wildly funny ‘100 Boyfriends’ is a filthy, unforgettable, and brutally profound ode to messy queer love. From one-night stands to recurring lovers, Brontez Purnell’s characters expose themselves to racist neighbours, date Satanists, and drink their way out of trouble, all the while fighting – and often losing – the urge to self-sabotage.
Here a series of luminous vignettes describe the childhood of Argentina’s rediscovered modernist writer. Self-contained, interconnected fragments begin with her family’s departure to Mendoza in 1910 and end with their return to Buenos Aires and the death of her father in 1915. Lange’s notes tell intimate, half-understood stories from the seemingly peaceful realm of childhood, a realm inhabited by an eccentric narrator searching for clues on womanhood and her own identity.
In these twelve quietly dazzling, carefully crafted stories, Billy O’Callaghan explores the resilience of the human heart and its ability to keep beating even in the wake of grief, trauma and lost love. Spanning a century and two continents – from the muddy fields of Ireland to a hotel room in Paris, a dingy bar in Segovia to an aeroplane bound for Taipei – ‘The Boatman’ follows an unforgettable cast of characters. Three gunshots on the Irish border define the course of a young man’s life; a writer clings fast to a star-crossed affair with a woman who has never been fully in his reach; a fisherman accustomed to hard labour rolls up his sleeves to dig a grave for his child; a pair of newly-weds embark on their first adventure, living wild on the deserted Beginish Island.
Over a decade ago, Groff moved to her adopted home state of Florida. The stories in this collection span characters, towns, decades, even centuries, but Florida – its landscape, climate, history and state of mind – becomes their gravitational centre. Storms, snakes and sinkholes lurk at the edge of everyday life, but the greater threats and mysteries are of a human, emotional and psychological nature.
In 1964, two years after the critically lauded release of his debut novel ‘A Different Drummer’, William Melvin Kelley published his first collection of short stories, ‘Dancers on the Shore’. Reissued in a new edition by riverrun, these seventeen stories expand Kelley’s literary world, showcase his limitless imagination and spotlight his inimitable talent.
The truth was that if a woman bit a man in an office environment, there would be a strong assumption that the man had done something to deserve it. From the creator of ‘Cat Person’ – the first short story to go viral – comes ‘Cat Person and Other Stories’, a compulsive collection about sex, dating and modern life. These are stories of women’s lives now. They also happen to be horror stories. In some, women endure the horror. In others, they inflict it. Here are women at work, at home, on dates, at the doctor’s, with their families and with their friends. Here are women grappling with desire, punishment, guilt and anger. These are stories that make you feel fascinated but repelled, scared but delighted, revolted but aroused.
Wilde’s short fiction includes such masterpieces as ‘The Happy Prince’, ‘The Selfish Giant’, ‘Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime’ and ‘The Canterville Ghost’, as well as the daring narrative experiments of ‘The Portrait of Mr. W. H.’ and ‘Poems in Prose’. This edition shows how they continue to the enthral and challenge the reader.
Roald Dahl was a master of macabre comedy, as well as being one of the greatest children’s writers of the 20th century. This collection brings together all of his short stories, published in chronological order.