5 Must-Read Collections For Short Story Month

5 Must-Read Collections For Short Story Month

Celebrate short story month during the month of May with the following 5 must-read collections by established and newcomer authors.

1. The Shell Collector: Stories by Anthony Doerr

“The exquisitely crafted stories in Anthony Doerr’s debut collection take readers from the African Coast to the pine forests of Montana to the damp moors of Lapland, charting a vast physical and emotional landscape. Doerr explores the human condition in all its varieties—metamorphosis, grief, fractured relationships, and slowly mending hearts—conjuring nature in both its beautiful abundance and crushing power. Some of the characters in these stories contend with hardships; some discover unique gifts; all are united by their ultimate deference to the ravishing universe outside themselves.”

2. The Red Convertible: Selected and New Stories, 1978-2008 by Louise Erdrich

“In Louise Erdrich’s fictional world, the mystical can emerge from the everyday, the comic can turn suddenly tragic, and violence and splendor inhabit a single emotional landscape. The fantastic twists and leaps of her imagination are made all the more meaningful by the deeper truth of human feeling that underlies them. These thirty-six short works selected by the author hersel – including five previously unpublished stories – are ordered chronologically as well as by theme and voice, each tale spellbinding in its boldness and beauty. The Red Convertible is a stunning literary achievement, the collected brilliance of a fearless and inventive writer.”

3. Pretty Chrysanthemum and Other Stories by Nancy Lane

“These sixteen stories remind readers how family is at the core of human experience and how relationships, especially those between parent and child, rely on the power of love to overcome challenges. Throughout these historical and contemporary tales, the pull of family, the power of love, and unshakeable human decency prevail.”

4. The New Yorker Stories by Ann Beattie

“Each Beattie story, says Margaret Atwood, is ‘like a fresh bulletin from the front: we snatch it up, eager to know what’s happening out there on the edge of that shifting and dubious no-man’s-land known as interpersonal relations.’ With an unparalleled gift for dialogue and laser wit, she delivers flash reports on the cultural landscape of her time. Ann Beattie: The New Yorker Stories is the perfect initiation for readers new to this iconic American writer and a glorious return for those who have known and loved her work for decades.”

5. Your Duck is My Duck: Stories by Deborah Eisenberg

“Each of the six stories in Your Duck is My Duck, her first collection since 2006, has the heft and complexity of a novel. With her own inexorable but utterly unpredictable logic and her almost uncanny ability to conjure the strange states of mind and emotion that constitute our daily consciousness, Eisenberg pulls us as if by gossamer threads through her characters—a tormented woman whose face determines her destiny; a group of film actors shocked to read a book about their past; a privileged young man who unexpectedly falls into a love affair with a human rights worker caught up in an all-consuming quest that he doesn’t understand.”

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PRETTY CHRYSANTHEMUM AND OTHER STORIES by Nancy Lane