Short story collections are small but perfectly formed works of fiction. Sometimes interlinked, sometimes stand alone, short story compilations can pack so many ideas into one book, and leave you reeling at the power of the author’s imagination. Here are some of the short story books we love.
Anthropology is quite simply, brilliant. 101 short stories on love, each one made up of 101 words. These are tiny flights of absurdist fantasy, and essential reading for anyone that has been in love or disappointed by love. Read it immediately and then go back and read it again.
Maeve Binchy’s books are like a warm hug, and that’s what you’ll get in Chestnut Street. All the stories are set in Chestnut Street where the lives of the residents are revealed. This is Maeve going what she does best, with stories of warmth, kindness, loss and love.
Something Special, Something Rare is an outstanding collection of short fiction by Australia’s finest female writers. From Kate Grenville to Favel Parrett and many more, these are tales of love, secrets, doubt and torment, the everyday and extraordinary.
The economy was booming. People had more money than they knew what to do with. And then the earthquake struck. After the Quake by Haruki Murakami is a look at the violence that lurks beneath the surface of modern Japan, by one of the greatest living writers.
Did you know the Academy Award winning film Brokeback Mountain is actually found in a collection of short stories by the amazing Annie Proulx? Part of a haunting collection of Wyoming tales, the most famous story in it is of course a tale of intimacy and love between Jack and Ennis.
If you liked Me Before You, Jojo Moyes has her first collection of short stories for you in Paris for One. Funny, charming and irresistible, these stores are all set around Paris, and she explores real life with her trademark way of humour and heart.
Nam Le’s debut The Boat is a breathtakingly assured collection of stories – powerful, moving and unsparingly honest. From a young refugee fleeing Vietnam on a boat to a 14 year old hitman in Columbia, these seven narratives take us all over the world, and shows us what it means to be human.
How They Met and Other Stories. From aching to the one you pine for, to standing up and speaking up for the one you love, to pure joy and happiness, these love stories by David Leviathan run the gamut of that emotion that at some point has turned every one of us inside out and upside down.
In Foreign Soil, Melbourne writer Maxine Beneba Clarke has given a voice to the disenfranchised, the lost, the downtrodden and the mistreated. This award winning collection of short stories will challenge you and have you by the heartstrings. This is contemporary fiction at its finest.
The Best Australian Stories 2016 anthology brings together Australia’s most striking literary talents and provides a platform for those unpublished gems. This year Stella Prize-winning author Charlotte Wood takes the helm, putting together yet another enchanting collection.
Kate Atkinson is a literary genius, and Not the End of the World is no exception. This collection explore the worl the think we know while offering a vision of another world which lurks just below the surface of our consciousness, where imagination has the power to transform reality.
Stephen King is an undisputed master of the short story, and has many collections to this name. In The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, he introduces each with a revelatory piece on when, where or how he came to write it. ‘I made them especially for you,’ says King. ‘Feel free to examine them, but please be careful. The best of them have teeth.’
We’re going to go out on a limb here, and say that even with all these fabulous authors and collections, Roald Dahl’s Complete Short Stories (Volume One & Volume Two) are some of the best. If you only know him for writing children’s books, you’re in for a treat – he writes about war, murder and sex, and these delightfully disturbing tales will stay with you long after reading. Absolutely recommended.