I love to read short stories and I particularly love to read a whole collection of short stories from the one writer.
In his introduction to Saul Bellow’s Collected Stories* James Wood writes, “It might be said that all of these beautiful stories throw out at us, in burning centrifuge, the secular-religious questions: What are our days of awe? And how shall we know them?”
And that is what short stories capture for me; ‘the ‘days of awe’ that reverberate through a lifetime, but also the awe inspiring nature of an average day and the myriad human responses to all the events that life challenges us with.
So below is a list, not in any particular order, of some of the wonderful writers with collections of short stories. It is by no means a definitive list, just the ones I’ve read. There are so many more that I look forward to reading soon.
Mavis Gallant, Italo Calvino, Natalie Scott, Marion Halligan, Saki, Anton Chekhov, Katherine Mansfield, Raymond Carver, Guy de Maupassant, Leo Tolstoy, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Rohinton Mistry, Rabindranath Tagore, Michael Ondaatje, Graham Greene, Barbara Kingsolver, Franz Kafka, Shirley Jackson, Thomas Hardy, Patrick White, David Malouf, Alice Munro, William Trevor and Saul Bellow.
And below are links to some short stories that I have written. It can be tempting after reading any of the above to never dare to put pen to paper again but whenever that thought crosses the mind of a writer a beautiful short story somewhere ‘falls down dead’.**
*Collected Stories Saul Bellow, Penguin Modern Classics 2007
** “Every time a child says, ‘I don’t believe in fairies,’ there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead.” Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. J.M.Barrie 1904