Our Followers Recommend: Short Story Collections

photo by Charlotte Farrar


The annual Small Wonder Short Story Festival begins in less than two weeks. This star-studded event kicks off at 6.30pm on 27th September, with authors Kevin Barry and Jackie Kay. Over the course of four days, the barn at Charleston House will play host to a wealth of prize-winning and highly acclaimed authors and editors, including Adam Marek, Joseph O’Connor, D.W. Wilson, Roshi Fernando, Sarah Hall, Woodrow Phoenix, Will Gompertz and A.L. Kennedy, to name a few. And they will all have one thing on their minds: short stories.

In celebration of Small Wonder, and all things short story, we’ve been asking our Twitter Followers to recommend their favourite short story collections.

From the ‘quirky voice’ of Miranda July, to the ‘underrated’ words of Frederick Barthelme, and the ‘stunning’ writings of Sarah Hall, we’ve had a terrific and inspiring response. So if you’re searching for a new short story collection to read, look no further…


Miranda July’s No One Belongs Here More Than You (2007). Such a dark, funny, quirky voice – like a female Raymond Carver. ~@VickyGrut

Anne Enright’s Taking Pictures is a bright, raw, gem – edgy, real, sexy, always funny/challenging, striking writing! ~@alexruczaj

Alice Munro’s Open Secrets has to be up there #FavouriteShortStoryCollections ~@IsabelAshdown

The Burned Children of America (ed. by Zadie Smith) is a riotously original and colourful collection of weird stories. ~@glitterwarpaint

Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies. Raymond Carver, Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? ~@velogubbed

Three Ways of the Saw by Matt Mullins; The Barnum Museum by Steven Millhauser ~@craftygreenpoet

William Trevor’s ‘Folie a Deux’ [from Cheating at Canasta]. In my head I can still hear him reading it at Small Wonder. Masterful. Some of Alice Munros’ are also powerfully eloquent. Not forgetting Sarah Hall and Helen Simpson too. ~@TheStoneCarver

Moon Deluxe by Frederick Barthelme. Soooo underrated. ~@SouthpawJournal

Love Raymond Carver’s Short Cuts, especially ‘Vitamins’… His closing words are beautifully resonant: http://j.mp/OZ3FIp ~@kemt89

Claire Wigfall’s The Loudest Sound and Nothing for its many, varied voices. ~@katefromberlin

Waiting for the Evening News: Stories From the Deep South by Tim Gautreaux, http://tinyurl.com/cdpcdjr ~@peter_raynard

This year I loved Lucy Wood’s Diving Belles – wonderful mixture of folktales and contemporary life. ~@David_Heb

Agreed, Diving Belles is an amazing collection! ~@ParnassusBooks1

Many heart-stoppers in Under the Dam by David Constantine @commapress #favouriteshortstorycollection ~@CorkyCorks

Graham Mort’s Touch & Sarah Hall’s The Beautiful Indifference both stunning. ~@tom_vowler

Alice Munro’s The Moons of Jupiter.1st collection I ever read, having somehow made it through degree unaware of the genre ~@sarahontheboat

Airships by Barry Hannah. Every sentence jolts you, like a defibrillator for the brain AND heart. I’d also say Self-Help by Lorrie Moore, Civilwarland in Bad Decline by George Saunders and Come to Me by Amy Bloom ~@darrenmjones

Mary Costello’s The China Factory highly recommended – on Guardian First Book longlist. A lovely book. ~@Nessao

Smoked Meat by @RowenaMacdonald. Linked stories set in bohemian Montreal. Funny, bleak, moving. Made Edge Hill & FO’C lists ~@JOD45

Dark Lies the Island by Irish writer Kevin Barry. It’s as if he’s dancing with words, and every step is perfect. ~@LightInABottle


A big thank you to everyone who took the time to let us know about their favouirte reads.

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One thought on “Our Followers Recommend: Short Story Collections

  1. I missed your call for short story collection recommendations so will respond now. It’s difficult to pick only one collection because there are so many, but a stand out one for me has to be Simon Van Booy’s ‘The Secret Lives of People in Love’.

    Few short story writers view the world with such depth and profundity as Van Booy does. In his eyes there is beauty in everything, and he delivers his observations and insight in stories using a prose that can only be described as liquid gold. If you’ve never read him then I urge you to do so. I can assure you that you’ll come away from the experience, breathless.

    As a taster, please read Van Booy’s very short story on the fine Fifty Two Stories website, titled ‘French Artist Killed in Sunday’s Earthquake’:



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