Short collection reviews
by Cee Nooteboom, translated by Ina Rilke
This latest collection of short stories by Dutch writer Cees Nooteboom is immensely readable and entertaining
by Rich Hall
...skilfully written, well-structured genuine short stories, full of wit and surprise and – in many cases – wisdom. They just also happen to be very, very funny
by ed. John Freeman
The Best of Young Spanish Language Novelists
by James Franco
...an impressive debut collection from a man with the makings of auteur written all over his impossibly pretty face
by Julian Barnes
New collection of short stories from a master, playing with the key difference between people who interact intellectually and people who engage on an emotional level
by Anna Starobinets
When An Awkward Age was still in manuscript, it won its then 26-year-old author the Russian National Book Award. Reading Hugh Alpin's excellent translation for Hesperus Press, it's not hard to see why. Weighing in at only six stories over a hundred and fifty-odd pages, this is one of the most stunning debuts to come out of Russia since Victor Pelevin: hip, funny, angry, and dark as hell.
by ed. Jonathan Santlofer and S J Rozan
A gloomy churchyard harbouring a dark secret, a bored housewife longing to indulge in unfulfilled fantasies, a child with a knack for disturbing premonitions… With crime and sex as its chief themes, this collection of short stories unsurprisingly contains a fair smattering of the usual euphemisms, hackneyed descriptions, and heavy handed prose.
by Daniel Kehlmann (author) Carol Brown Janeway (translator)
Short story collection from the bad boy of Euro-lit
by David Means
Short collection of short short stories with a sense of place, each encompassing a 'spot'
by Rhiannon Smith (ed.)
Superlative review mixing creative writing students from Birbeck with some of the world's finest
by John Freeman (ed.)
A superlative collection of writings from and about the Pakistani Disapora, including Kamila Shamsie, Fatima Bhutto and Mohsin Hamid
by Steven Amsterdam
These apocalyptic stories make an oddly reassuring read. In the face of fire, flood, draught and plague, people remain basically the same they tell us
by Laura Dockrill
A ghoulish new collection of reinvented fairy tales from Laura Dockrill
by ed. Neil Gaiman / Al Sarrantonio
This is a short story collection not short on ideas. It’s one huge book of great, exciting stories which will become a uniting force for readers of all forms of imaginative fiction.
by Hassan Blasim
The Madman of Freedom Square is a collection of 11 confronting short stories by Iraqi-born writer Hassan Blasim, who now resides in Finland.
by ed. John Freeman
The Granta Sex issue with its beautiful and funny cover, accompanying yearning films and impressive array of contributors from as far afield as Adam Foulds and Dave Eggers (as well as an online exclusive piece from Booktrust writer-in-residence Evie Wyld) is another instalment in the magazine’s well-stocked rolodex of exciting scribes.
by David Eagleman
This is a powerful, life affirming and boldly funny collection that everyone should experience
by Andrew Porter
Even if you usually wouldn’t consider a collection of stories, you really need to read The Theory of Light and Matter
by Hanif Kureishi
...effective in displaying why Hanif Kureishi is one of Britain’s most important writers
by Maile Meloy
The stories are concise and clear, never wasting words, never flowering up simple impulses
by Mieko Kanai
The stories that comprise The Word Book hold only a fragile grip on reality – and the effect is quietly unsettling
by Petina Gappah
In this debut collection of short stories, Petina Gappah dissects the lives of people caught up in situations over which they have no control
by David Vann
Five short short stories and one longer one about suicide might not be your idea of a relaxing fireside read but by approaching the same event from a number of angles Vann is able to successfully express the manifold effects of such a traumatic event on those left behind.
by Alice Munro
For Alice Munro fans who believed her when she said that she'd given up writing, a gift of quite staggering beauty and insight – a new collection of short stories.
by Sana Krasikov
A numbing, almost debilitating melancholia infects the exiled, as Sana Krasikov shows in this haunting debut collection.
by John Updike
Written over a period of more than twenty years, John Updike’s stories about Richard and Joan Maple and their family sit handsomely together in this beautiful little volume.
by Wells Tower
Whoa! Hold on to your hat – Wells Tower’s Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned is an adrenaline-fuelled bareback rodeo ride of a book, peppered with caustic low-lifes, desperate events, seedy carnival men and, er, Vikings.
by Deborah Kay Davies
I sat down with this extraordinary book one Sunday and read it from cover to cover.
by Dave Eggers (ed.)
For anyone not acquainted with the weird and and crazily wonderful world of Dave Eggers’ McSweeney’s publications, issue 30 might be a good (ie not too zany) place to start.
by Gerard Donovan
‘How many people get to hear what their friends think about them?’ Gerard Donovan asked an audience at the 2008 Edinburgh international book festival.
by Philip Ó Ceallaigh
If the title of Philip Ó Ceallaigh’s first book didn’t make you grab it off the shelf, the reviews should have.
by Daniyal Mueenuddin
In this beautiful and assured collection, Daniyal Mueenuddin works and reworks the eternal themes of life, love and death. His control never wavers – neither does his compassion.
by Shena Mackay
This is a wonderfully bittersweet selection of works by one of the modern masters of the short story.
by Gerard Woodward
Gerard Woodward’s memorable first collection of stories gives us his own peculiar fictional world, in which the surreal makes its incursions into everyday lives.
by James Lasdun
There’s something disarmingly low-key about James Lasdun’s writing, a hard-to-define tone that nevertheless draws the reader deep into the specific moment of each story.
by Donald Ray Pollock
If books came with sound effects, this debut collection would rattle like a plastic bottle of pills every time you turned a page, such are the many and varied references to experience-enhancing or -deadening pharmaceuticals.
Eight more pocket-sized Picador Shots are now available for your delight.
by William Boyd
‘Fiction, for me, is all about liberating my imagination,’ writes William Boyd in his introduction to The Dream Lover, ‘and that liberation seems to function particularly appealingly in the short-story form.’
by Eileen Chang
Expanding their Modern Classics series, Penguin has now published two collections of novellas and short stories by the celebrated Chinese writer Eileen Chang, containing several perfectly-formed examples of her writing about 30s and 40s Hong Kong and Shanghai.
by Cate Kennedy
Kennedy’s sparkling debut collection is characterised by the sheer confidence of her writing and her knack of actually being able to tell a good tale.
by Miranda July
Miranda July’s debut collection is an engaging mix of the heartfelt and self-aware, with some very funny moments and some sharp observations.
by Rosa Liksom (translated from the Finnish by David McDuff)
Sophie Lewis is shocked, and then awed, by a collection of grim, unpredictable stories.
by Clare Wigfall
Peter Hobbs, author of I Could Ride All Day in My Cool Blue Train, is impressed by a "masterful debut collection".
by Simon Robson
Robson’s stories offer up the notion that separateness exists between adults, and between children and the adult world, no matter how well one may seem to know the other. They are also very, very English.
by Karen Russell
Karen Russell’s debut collection of stories is an exuberant and imaginative journey into places that seem fantastic, yet could be true.
by James Salter
In some ways the ten disturbing, compelling stories in Last Night are old-fashioned; men are manly, women are beautiful, and each one comes with a killer twist. Yet the stories’ central themes – betrayal and the way it almost carelessly destroys the golden lives of the seemingly contented – are universal and timeless.
by Tessa Hadley
This is a deftly assembled collection of short stories about the everyday flow of human lives, and unexpected moments that can shift those lives off (or back on) course.
by Tim Winton
Parched, arid and dusty lives, mirrored in the unremittingly harsh landscape of Australia, have become the stock-in-trade of Tim Winton.
by George Saunders
The skewed world of George Saunders is a strangely wonderful place, an alternative but frighteningly feasible universe in which advertising and wonky syntax have smothered the life out of normal discourse and free will.
by Julie Orringer
'Outstanding'; 'unbelievably good'; 'pitch perfect'; 'clear, cool and enticing'; 'subtle and multi-layered': these are just some of the justified reactions to Julie Orringer's first collection of short stories.
by Gina Ochsner
Ochsner's stories of love, loss, death and redemption were inspired by her travels around Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic.
by David Means
It is a truism that the best modern short stories are written by Americans (and you can take that to mean the United States or North America – or you can disagree completely).
by Thomas McGuane
Thomas McGuane is a very funny writer, but the almost desperate humour in his stories is leavened by a sense of deep loneliness.
by J Robert Lennon
After the frenzied intensity of his last book (Mailman), Lennon presents us with one hundred very short, beautifully crafted vignettes that aptly capture the oddness of everyday life.
by Nancy Lee
Longer isn't necessarily better, as this debut collection of short stories vividly demonstrates.
by Margo Lanagan
Lanagan's spare sentences and arresting metaphors conjure up tales of worlds similar but subtly different to our own, often set in unspecified pasts and futures.
by Etgar Keret
The deceptive simplicity of these often funny and oddly moving short – in some cases very short – stories reveals Keret to be a lively wit and an exuberant satirist.
by Panos Karnezis
These interlinked short stories about life in an unnamed rural Greek village are beautifully written with a light and almost magical touch that suits both the comic and the tragic themes of the book.
by Peter Hobbs
Hobbs's first book, the novel The Short Day Dying, was well received by critics; his second, this collection of short stories, deserves equal praise for the confidence of its writing and the range of its subject matter.
by Patrick O'Keeffe
Bitter sadness, violence and regret bubble to the surface of rural Ireland in this prize-winning volume of novellas set in the fictional townland of Kilroan.
by Charles D'Ambrosio
It is a bizarre and frankly baffling fact that this mind-blowing collection of stories has not found a publisher in the UK.