Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Sunday Salon: Happy Easter and You're Thinking about Short Stories, too!

Happy Easter everyone!

I hope everyone had a wonderful day whether or not you celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, I think we can all celebrate spring!

Earlier this week, I posted about how I was thinking I needed to add more short stories to my reading menu, and what a response! Some of you gave some great suggestions while others mentioned you were also interested in reading more short stories. So I thought I would collect all the wonderful answers and post them here for easy reference.

J.S. Peyton said,
"I wasn't a fan of short stories until about two years ago when I read the anthology of contemporary short stories ed. by Michael Martone. Almost every story in that book was amazing in its own way. I highly recommend it, especially for people who aren't all that into short stories but want to read more.

I'm also pretty partial to the short stories by Joyce Carol Oates. Her collection of short stories "The Museum of Dr. Moses" and "The Female of the Species" really blew me away.

And of course, Neil Gaiman is always a favorite for good fantasy stories. =)"

Here's where I confess that I haven't read any of those people. I've listened to Coraline on CD but wasn't blown away by it, thus the reason I haven't read any more Neil Gaiman to date. I am interested in reading Joyce Carol Oates, though, since Undine,and Ana also recommend them! In fact, Ana said they can be disturbing...and that sounds like just my thing. (Yes, there's something wrong with me)

Ana also said,
"Other favourite short story authors of mine are Truman Capote, John Cheever, J.D. Salinger, Tim Pratt, Ali Smith and Jhumpa Lahiri.

Also, I have to take this chance to plug "The evolution of trickster stories among the dogs of North Park after the Change" by Kij Johnson. I have a secret plan to make the book blogging world fall in love with her writing :P" Well I guess I'm helping by posting it here! ;) I forgot about J.D.'s been awhile, but I enjoyed Nine Stories.

Joanne said,
"Short stories have always appealed to me, I like that with a great writer the story can be as powerful as a full-length novel.

I don't really have any favorites, but I find that yearly anthologies/collections are always a treat. Some of the ones I enjoy most would be the yearly Best American Short Stories and Best Canadian Short Fiction sets. Also The Oxford Book of American Shorts edited by Oates - she has the best taste is short fic.
For genre specific I love the giant Best Fantasy of the Year collections edited by Ellen Datlow." I agree that short stories can be really powerful and that's why I'm interested in reading more! I'll check some of these out!

Chris also recommended Neil Gaiman and a collection called Every Man for Himself which incidentally he reviewed this week!

Rebecca, Heather, Mindy, and Dave all recommended Jhumpa Lahiri. I will definitely have to read some of her stuff!

Other suggestions include Lauren Groff's Delicate Edible Birds, Flannery O'Connor, Guy de Maupassant, Ingrid Hill, Marc Niesen, William Trevor, Christopher Meeks, Catherine Brady, Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, Pam Houston's Cowboys are My Weakness, How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer, Daphne du Maurier, Eudora Welty, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edgar Allen Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Margaret Atwood, and Irene Nemirovsky. So basically...TONS of suggestions!

I also really appreciated this point by Book Club Girl,
"I think it's important to support short stories because so many great novelists start out writing stories. It's difficult for publishers to publish them because they don't typically sell as well (Jhumpa Lahiri is the big exception to this rule) but if they don't publish them, some writers may never get the chance to write the novels we'll love." Well said! I definitely want to support this form more, it's just a matter of getting started and forcing myself to! Also, Book Club Girl mentions that...
"Harper Perennial is celebrating the short story this summer with publications of 4 new collections by amazing writers. And they have a blog up that posts a short story a week if you want to check it out"

And finally, to Debi who asked who wrote "The Cold Equations" was Tom Godwin!

Thanks so much everyone for all of the fantastic suggestions! I can't wait to get started!

One last thing...winner of the BAFAB was Krista! Krista please email me with your address so I can get your pick to you!



Lenore Appelhans said...

I have a ton of anthologies as well: Art of the Story, Art of the Tale, World of the Short Story, the Norton Anthologies, and a bunch of short short stories (no more than 2 pages) in collections like Flash Fiction and Sudden Fiction.

J.S. Peyton said...

I didn't think "Coraline" was all that great either. I much prefer his other books that I've read: his two collections of short stories and his latest "The Graveyard Book." Don't give up on him yet! You might be surprised.

And if there's something wrong with you for liking disturbing stories, well then we both must be crazy! :D The two collections collections that I mentioned feature some of her most disturbing stories and I loved it. Lol.

Ana S. said...

I love how you compiled all the replies here! And thank you for helping me with my plan :D

Nine Stories is one of my favourite short story collections for sure. I'm glad you enjoyed it too!

And Like J.S. Peyton said, if you're crazy, then so am I :P

kel said...

Hope you had a great easter!

bermudaonion said...

We had a very nice Easter - hope you did too.

S. Krishna said...

I definitely recommend Jhumpa Lahiri as well. I used to never read short stories but have been picking up more and more over the last two years. I still prefer novels but have come to appreciate short story collections.

Meghan said...

Wow, thanks for this compilation of replies! I'm not a short story person either but I've been thinking about picking a few more up. Now I have a handy resource. =)

Icedream said...

I have to add an "I second" the recommendation for Flannery O'Connor. I love anthologies but I am particular about them, I enjoy sci-fi and some horror.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog and showing interest in the upcoming read-along of The Tale of Genji. I'm very excited that you'll join us. I'll keep you posted on the update. :)

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to comment! I appreciate hearing your thoughts.