We Recommend


‘We Recommend’ features are personal recommendations of a story collection, an anthology, a group of short stories, or a single short story. They are written in the first-person, subjective in tone, and include personal responses to the work being discussed, how the work has influenced the following as a reader and/or writer.


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s The Thing Around Your Neck – Andiswa Onke Maqutu

Robert Aickman – Frances Gapper

Conrad Aiken’s ‘Silent Snow, Secret Snow’ – Dora D’Agostino

Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s ‘In a Bamboo Grove’ – Scott Wilson

David Almond’s ‘Slog’s Dad’ – Craig Lamont

Hanan Al-Shaykh’s ‘The Scratching of Angels’ Pens’ – Jemma Draycott

Donald Antrim’s The Emerald Light in the Air – Nicole Mansour

A.J. Ashworth’s ‘Sometimes Gulls Kill Other Gulls’ – Jose Varghese

Kjell Askildsen’s Selected Stories – Dan Powell

Kate Atkinson’s Not the End of the World – Tracy Fells

Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Bog Man’ – Erinna Mettler

Margaret Atwood’s Flash Fiction – Santino Prinzi

Margaret Atwood’s ‘Rape Fantasies’ – Wanda Campbell

Stacy Aumonier’s ‘A Man of Letters’ – Mike Smith

Paul Auster’s ‘Auggie Wren’s Christmas Story’ – Erinna Mettler

Marcel Aymé’s ‘Le Passe-Muraille’ (‘The Man Who Walked Through Walls’) – Janis Lane

Trezza Azzopardi’s ‘Sticks and Stones’ – Sarah Rachel Beart

J.G. Ballard – Kate Krake

J.G. Ballard’s science fiction stories – Drew Whittet

Toni Cade Bambara’s ‘The Lesson’ – Patrick Yarker

Julian Barnes’ Pulse – Soumya Bhattacharya

Colin Barrett’s Young Skins – David Butler

Kevin Barry’s collections – Pratibha Castle

Kevin Barry’s ‘A Cruelty’ – Armel Dagorn

H.E. Bates’ ‘The Little Farm’ – Mike Smith

H.E. Bates’ ‘The Mill’ – Mike Smith

H.E. Bates’ ‘The Mill’ and ‘The Good Corn’ – Mike Smith

Richard Bausch – Morgan Omotoye

The BBC International Short Story Award 2012 (various) – Kirsty Walters

The BBC International Short Story Award 2016 (various) – David Frankel

Leslie Beckmann’s ‘Genus and Species’ – Kate Finegan

Martyn Bedford’s Letters Home – Hannah Radcliffe

‘This Beautiful House’  by Louis de Bernières – Jose Varghese

Louis de Bernières’ Red Dog – Gina Challen

Samuel Beckett’s ‘Ping’ – K.S. Dearsley

Phyllis Bentley – Julia A Hickey

Laura van den Berg’s ‘Antarctica’ – Dora D’Agostino

Megan Mayhew Bergman’s Almost Famous Women – Stephanie Williamson

The Best British Short Stories 2012 (various) – Lela Tredwell

The Best British Short Stories 2013 (various) – Alex Ruczaj

Best British Short Stories 2015 (various) – Victoria Heath

Best British Short Stories 2016 (various) – Sophia Kier-Byfield

Best British Short Stories 2017 (various) – Nicole Mansour

Beta Life (various) – David Frankel

Bio-Punk: Stories from the Far Side of Research (various) – Kirsty Walters

Hassam Blasim’s The Iraqi Christ – Dr. Waleed Al-Bazoon

‘Rowing to Eden’ by Amy Bloom – Susmita Bhattacharya

Roberto Bolaño’s ‘Sensini’ – Anushree Nande

Heinrich Böll’s ‘Christmas Not Just Once a Year’ – J.L. Bogenschneider

Simon Van Booy’s Love Begins in Winter – Amanda Oosthuizen

‘Death and the Compass’ by Jorge Luis Borges – Emily Cleaver

‘The Library of Babel’ by Jorge Luis Borges – Aimee McCague

The Maker by Jorge Luis Borges – Daniel Spinks

‘The South’ by Jorge Luis Borges – Louise Hegarty

The stories of Jorge Luis Borges – Jonathan Pinnock

Elizabeth Bowen’s Collected Stories – Mike Smith

Elizabeth Bowen’s ‘The New House’ – Marcella O’Connor

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury – Tyler Miller

Rainer Brambach’s For Six Cups of Coffee and Other Stories – Madeleine McDonald

Carys Bray’s Sweet Home – Carol Fenlon

Bridges: A Global Anthology of Short Stories (various) – Kirsty Walters

Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology – Margaret Sessa-Hawkins

Brigid Brophy’s The Adventures of God in His Search for the Black Girl – Michael Caines

George Mackay Brown’s A Calendar of Love – Francesca Creffield

Frederick Busch’s Ralph The Duck – Sarah Hegarty

Mary Butt’s ‘With and Without Buttons’ – Victoria Leslie

A.S. Byatt’s ‘A Stone Woman’ – Victoria Leslie

Joanna Campbell’s ‘Upshots’ – Julia Anderson

Joanna Campbell’s When Planets Slip Their Tracks – Julia Anderson

John W. Campbell’s Who Goes There? – Chris Machell

Truman Capote’s ‘A Christmas Memory’ – Anushree Nande

Truman Capote’s ‘Miriam‘ – Juliet West

Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber – Sharon Telfer

Angela Carter’s ‘The Company of Wolves’ – Morgaine Davidson

Angela Carter’s ‘The Courtship of Mr Lyon’ and ‘The Tiger’s Bride’ – Chrissy Derbyshire

Angela Carter’s ‘The Erl-King’ – Ever Dundas

Raymond Carver’s ‘A Small, Good Thing’ – Wendy Good

Raymond Carver’s Beginners – Will Bowerman

Raymond Carver’s Cathedral – Evan Guilford-Blake

Raymond Carver’s Cathedral – Claire Edwards

Carver: Collected Stories – Jack Tilley

Raymond Carver’s ‘Kindling’ – A. J. Ashworth

Raymond Carver’s Short Cuts – Alex Coulton

Raymond Carver’s ‘So Much Water So Close to Home’ – Angela Readman

Eileen Chang’s ‘Lust, Caution’ – Chris Machell

John Cheever’s ‘The Swimmer’ – Chris Machell

Anton Chekhov’s The Exclamation Mark – Dan Powell

Ted Chiang’s ‘Story of Your Life’ and its film adaptation – Chris Machell

Kate Chopin’s ‘The Story of an Hour’ – Stephen Devereux

Liz Cody’s ‘Chalk Mother’ – Hannah Brockbank

Joseph Conrad’s ‘Amy Foster’ – Stephen Devereux

Joseph Conrad in Conradology – Gina Challen

Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ – Chris Machell

David Constantine’s ‘Mr Carlton’ – Neil Campbell

David Constantine’s Tea at the Midland – Holly Dawson

A.E. Coppard’s ‘The Higgler’ – Mike Smith

A.E. Coppard’s ‘My Hundredth Tale’ – Mike Smith

A.E. Coppard’s ‘Weep Not My Wanton’ – Mike Smith

Lucy Corin’s One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses – Sophie Kier-Byfield

Julio Cortázar’s ‘Cartas de Mamá’ – Bella Whittington

Julio Cortázar’s ‘The Health of the Sick’ – J.L. Bogenschneider

Stig Daggerman’s The Games of Night – Dan Powell

Roald Dahl’s ‘The Great Automatic Grammatizator’ – Tracy Fells

Elspeth Davie’s ‘Allergy’ – Stephen  Hargadon

Lydia Davis’ Varieties of Disturbance – Tim Love

Rebecca Harding Davis’ ‘Life in the Iron Mills’ – Pat Tompkins

Shelagh Delaney Sweetly Sings the Donkey – David Frankel

Shelagh Delaney’s Sweetly Sings the Donkey – Geoffrey Heptonstall

Shashi Deshpande – Farah Ahamed

‘Illumination’ by Éilís Ní Dhuibhne – Claire Savage

Junot Diaz’s This is How You Lose Her – Ruba Abughaida

Philip K. Dick – Mike Smith

Anthony Doerr’s Memory Wall – Tania Hershman

Sergei Dovlatov’s The Suitcase – Alan McMonagle

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes – Morgaine Davidson

Rob Doyle’s This is the Ritual – Ariella Diamond

Stella Duffy’s ‘To Brixton Beach’ – Carine Osmont

Stuart Dybek’s flash fiction – Marcella O’Connor

Dorothy Edwards – Frances Gapper

Anne Enright’s Taking Pictures – Alex Ruczaj

William Faulkner’s ‘Dry September’ – Sharon Telfer

Félix Fénéon’s Novels in Three Lines – Benjamin Noys

Liam O’Flaherty’s ‘The White Bitch’ – Séamus Duggan

Ian Fleming’s James Bond stories – Chris Machell

John Fowles’ The Ebony Tower – Geoffrey Heptonstall

Janet Frame’s the daylight and the dust: collected short stories – Nicola Daley

The Lagoon by Janet Frame – Jennifer Harvey

The future: Science Fiction and Dystopian works – Mary O’Donnell

Neil Gaiman’s Smoke and Mirrors – Jacqueline Saville

William Gass’ In the Heart of the Heart of the Country – Nicole Mansour

Tim Gautreaux’s Waiting for the Evening News – Richard Buxton

William Gay’s ‘Where Will You Go When Your Skin Cannot Contain You?’ – Dan Powell

Brian George’s ‘More Than a Magician’ – Juliet West

Ghost Stories – Tracy Fells

‘Clay’ by Lewis Grassic Gibbon – Kenneth Steven

Global Cultures, Transnational Short Fiction – Trish Nicholson

Nadine Gordimer’s ‘The Catch’ – Alison Gibbs

Georgi Gospodinov’s And Other Stories – C.D. Rose

Julian Gough’s ‘The Orphan and the Mob’ – Julia Anderson

Marc Le Goupils’ ‘The Cross-Roads’ – Mike Smith

Juan Goytisolo’s The Party’s Over – Patricia Duffaud

Graham Greene’s ‘The Basement Room’ – Chris Machell

Graham Greene’s ‘The Third Man’ – Chris Machell

Graham Greene’s ‘Under the Garden’ – Stephen Devereux

Sarah Hall’s ‘Mrs Fox’ – Erinna Mettler

Helen Harris’ ‘The Man Who Kept the Sweet Shop at the Bus Station’ – Stephen Devereux

Elizabeth Harrower’s A Few Days in the Country – Nicole Mansour

Helon Habila’s stories – Kenneth Okpomo

Ernest Hemingway’s ‘A Clean, Well-Lighted Place’ – Jason Clifton

Ernest Hemingway’s short stories – Peter Jordan

‘Up in Michigan’ by Ernest Hemingway – Peter Jordan

Tania Hershman’s My Mother Was An Upright Piano – Victoria Heath

Patricia Highsmith’s Little Tales of Misogyny – Konstantinos Tzikas

Winifred Holtby’s Remember, Remember! – Sue Wilsea

A.M. Homes’ A Real Doll – Ruth Quinlan

Ideas Above Our Station (various) – Sarada Gray

Witi Ihimaera’s Pounamu, Pounamu – Karen Wrigglesworth

Stories from Iraq – Naomi Foyle

The Glass Shore: Short Stories by Women Writers from the North of Ireland – Zoe Mitchell

Irish Ghost Stories edited by David Stuart Davies – Brendan O’Dea

A Trio of Irish Short Stories – Nuala Ní Chonchúir

Washington Irving’s Tales of Alhambra – Graham Landon

Kazuo Ishiguro’s Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall – Katie Lunn-Pigula

Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery’ – Hayley N Jones

Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery’ – Rachel Stevenson

Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Witch’ – Ever Dundas

Jambula Tree (various) – Kirsty Walters

M.R. James’ ‘Oh Whislte, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad’ – Stephen Devereux

Daisy Johnson’s Fen – A. Poythress

Denis Johnson’s ‘Two Men’ – Morgan Omotoye

Holly Goddard Jones’ Girl Trouble – Mary Larsen

Stephen Graham Jones’ ‘Father, Son, Holy Rabbit’ – Kathleen H. Story

Vivien Jones’ ‘Sorting Office’ – Mike Smith

James Joyce’s Dubliners – Mike Smith

The Essential James Joyce – John Verling

No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July – Anna Arbiter

Franz Kafka – Gina Challen

Franz Kafka’s ‘The Great Wall of China’ – Anton Dechand

Franz Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’ – G. F. Phillips

Panos Karenzis’ Little Infamies – Gina Challen

Jackie Kay’s Wish I Was Here – Gina Challen

Claire Keegan’s ‘Antarctica’ – Nicola Daly

Claire Keegan’s ‘Night of the Quicken Trees’ – Judith George

Marina Keegan’s ‘Cold Pastoral’ – Charlotte Osborn

Daniel Kehlmann‘s FameKatherine Orr

Rudyard Kipling – Professor Charles E. May

Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Mrs Bathurst’ – David Frankel

Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Eye of Allah’ – Mike Smith

Hanif Kureishi’s Collected Stories – Alison MacLeod

Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies – Farhana Shaikh

Jhumpa Lahiri’s short stories – Shafiqah Samarasam

Philip Langeskov’s ‘Barcelona’ – Hannah Radcliffe

D.H. Lawrence’s ‘Fanny and Annie’ – Stephen Devereux

D.H. Lawrence’s ‘Odour of Chrysanthemums’ – G.F. Phillips

D.H. Lawrence’s ‘Odour of Chrysanthemums’ – Mike Smith

D.H. Lawrence’s ‘The Prussian Officer’ – K.S. Dearsley

Henry Lawson’s ‘The Drover’s Wife’ – Jennie Ryan

Nam Le’s The Boat – Katherine Orr

Rosemond Lehmann’s ‘The Red-Haired Miss Daintreys’ – Christine Genovese

Deborah Levy’s Black Vodka – Jeanloup Pranchère

Yiyun Li’s Gold Boy, Emerald Girl – Amanda Oosthuizen

H.P. Lovecraft – Geoff Holder

Carmen Maria Machado’s ‘The Husband Stitch’ – Kate Jones

Alexander MacLeod – Mary Jo Anderson

Alistair MacLeod’s Island: Collected Stories – Laura Morgan

Adnan Mahmutovic’s How to Fare Well and Stay Fair – Moa Lindunger

André Mangeot – Hugh Dunkerley

Katherine Mansfield’s ‘An Indiscreet Journey’ – Cath Humphris

Katherine Mansfield’s short stories – David Butler

Katherine Mansfield Short Stories – Gill Thompson

Hilary Mantel’s ‘Winter Break’ – Jo Cole

Adam Marek’s collections – Carys Bray

Adam Marek’s The Stone Thrower – Lela Tredwell

W. Somerset Maugham – Mike Smith

‘Boule de Suif’ by Guy de Maupassant – Allyson Dowling

Guy de Maupassant’s ‘A Mother of Monsters’ – Bella Reid

Daphne du Maurier’s ‘Don’t Look Now’ – Brendan O’Dea

Daphne du Maurier’s ‘The Old Man’ – Mike Smith

Daphne du Maurier’s short stories – Sophie Reid

Mary McCarthy’s short stories – Sam Reese

Thomas McGuane’s ‘Stars’ – Morgan Omotoye

Carson McCullers’ short stories – Tess St Clair-Ford

Ian McEwan’s ‘Butterflies’ – Jennie Ryan

Ian McEwan’s ‘First Love, Last Rites’ – Victoria Heath

James McKenna’s Black Range Tales – Kate Prudchenko

C. G. Menon’s Subjunctive Moods – Melissa Fu

Seven Stories by Prosper Mérimée – Mike Smith

Erinna Mettler’s 15 Minutes – Tracy Fells

Leonard Michaels’ ‘Murderers’ – Morgan Omotoye

China Miéville’s Looking For Jake and Other Stories – C.D. Rose

Arthur Miller’s Timebends (an autobiography) – Mike Smith

Steven Millhauser’s ‘Eisenheim the Illusionist’ – Chris Machell

Screwtop Thompson by Magnus Mills – Eamonn Griffin

Rohinton Mistry’s ‘Squatter’ – Jose Varghese

Joseph Mitchell’s ‘The Downfall of Fascism in Black Ankle County’ – Séamus Duggan

Rick Moody’s ‘Boys’ – Neelima Vinod

Michael Moorcock’s ‘London Bone’ – Drew Whittet

George Moore – Mike Smith

Lorrie Moore’s Self Help – Tracy Maylath

Lorrie Moore’s ‘You’re Ugly, Too’ – Mary O’Donnell

Thomas Morris’ We Don’t Know What We’re Doing – Sophia Kier-Byfield

Arthur Morrison’s Tales of Mean Streets – Mike Smith

Graham Mort’s Touch – Tom Vowler

Alice Munro’s ‘The Beggar Maid’ – Emily Devane

Alice Munro’s Dear Life – Penny Boxall

Alice Munro’s ‘Family Furnishings’ – Mary O’Donnell

Two Stories by Alice Munro – Ellie Walsh

‘The Lumber Room’ by H. H. Munro – Stephen Devereux

R. K. Narayan and Ivan Vladislavic’s short stories – Farah Ahamed

20 Under 40: Stories from The New Yorker – Andrew Leon Hudson

Cees Nooteboom’s The Foxes Come At Night – Jennifer Harvey

The Dark Blue Winter Overcoat and other stories from the North: Nordic short stories – David Frankel

Flannery O’Connor – Kath McKay

Flannery O’Connor’s Complete Stories – Judy Upton

Mark O’Flynn – Marjorie Lewis-Jones

Once Upon a Time There Was a Traveller (various) – Victoria Heath

K. J. Orr’s The Inland Sea – Vicki Heath

K. J. Orr’s Light box – Victoria Heath

Grace Paley’s ‘The Loudest Voice’ – Dora D’Agostino

Breece D’J Pancake’s Trilobites and Other Stories – Alison Armstrong

Janice Pariat’s Boats on Land – Susmita Bhattacharya

Dorothy Parker’s ‘The Standard of Living’ – Uschi Gatward

Nick Parker’s The Exploding Boy and Other Tiny Tales – Jonathan Pinnock

Cassandra Parkin’s New World Fairy Tales – Teika Bellamy

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘Old Water’ – Victoria Leslie

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ – Rosemary Gemmell

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya’s There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbour’s Baby – Amanda Oosthuizen

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya’s There Once Lived a Woman – Pauline Masurel

‘Place’ in Fiction – Mary O’Donnell

Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ – Chris Machell

Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination – Christine Genovese

Chris Powers’ Mothers – Nicole Mansour

Protest: Stories of Resistance edited by Ra Page – Nicole Mansour

Annie Proulx – Hayley Singer

Annie Proulx’s ‘Brokeback Mountain’ – Chris Machell

Annie Proulx’s ‘Brokeback Mountain’ – Charles E. May

‘A Cottage in Troy’ by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch– Mike Smith

Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch’s ‘Captain Knot’ – Mike Smith

Ron Rash’s ‘Hard Times’ – Kath McKay

Refugee Tales – Hannah Brockbank

Dorothy Richardson’s Journey to Paradise – K.S. Dearsley

Michèle Roberts – Amanda McAleese

Jane Rogers’ Hitting Trees with Sticks – Carlotta Eden

‘The Lumber Room’ by Saki – Stephen Devereux

J.D. Salinger’s ‘For Esmé–With Love and Squalor’ – Wanda Campbell

James Salter’s Last Night – Mike Smith

Ken Sar0-Wiwa’s A Forest of Flowers – Stanley Echebiri

George Saunders’ ‘Escape from Spiderhead’ – Jose Varghese

George Saunders’ Tenth of December – Juliet West

Diane Schoemperlen’s Forms of Devotion – Felicity Skelton

Hubert Selby Jnr’s Song of the Silent Snow – David Frankel

Sam Selvon’s Short Stories – Cyril Dabydeen

Robert Shearman – Carys Bray

Robert Shearman’s Everyone’s Just So So Special – Lela Tredwell

Robert Shearman’s Remember Why You Fear Me – Gina Parsons

Sam Shepard’s short stories – Nicole Mansour

Reading Short Stories – Tracy Fells

Murzban F. Shroff’s Breathless in Bombay – Susmita Bhattacharya

Helen Simpson’s Hey Yeah Right Get A Life – Carys Bray

Ali Smith’s ‘The History of History’ – Kathryn Hall

Ali Smith’s stories – Tracy Maylath

Ali Smith’s ‘Writ’ – Hayley N. Jones

Michael V. Smith’s ‘What We Wanted’ – Ellie Walsh

Neil Smith’s Bang Crunch – Zoë Apostolides

Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘A Lodging for the Night’ – Professor Charles E. May

Robert Stone’s Bear and His Daughter – Jason Clifton

Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge – Erinna Mettler

Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s The Push Man and Other Stories – Dan Powell

Elizabeth Taylor’s ‘The Devastating Boys’ – Alison Fisher

Elizabeth Taylor’s The Devastating Boys – Nicola Daly

These Seven (various) – Susmita Bhattacharya

A Trio of Irish Short Stories – Nuala Ní Chonchúir

Colm Tóibín’s The Empty Family – Paul Curd

Colm Tóibín’s ‘A Song’ – Anushree Nande

F.X. Toole – Emily Bullock

Rose Tremain’s The American Lover – Janis Lane

Valerie Trueblood’s Marry or Burn – Nuala Ní Chonchúir

20 Under 40: Stories from The New Yorker – Andrew Leon Hudson

Samrat Upadhyay’s ‘The Limping Bride’ – Eleanor Walsh

Kurt Vonnegut – Pauline Masurel

Tom Vowler’s Dazzling the Gods – Dan Coxon

David Foster Wallace’s Oblivion – David Frankel

Robert Walser’s ‘Kleist in Thun’ – Ben Winch

Guy Ware’s ‘Witness Protection’ – Anushree Nande

Eudora Welty’s ‘A Worn Path’ – David Butler

Melanie Whipman’s Llama Sutra – Tracy Fells

Oscar Wilde’s Fairy Tales – Louise Murray

Oscar Wilde’s unrecorded stories – Eleanor Fitzsimons

Tennessee Williams’ ‘The Resemblance between a Violin Case and a Coffin’ – Stephen Devereux

Tim Winton’s The TurningKath Mckay

P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster series – Margaret Sessa-Hawkins

Tobias Wolff’s ‘Hunters in the Snow’ – Séamus Duggan

The World’s Thousand Best Short Stories (various) – Mike Smith

Francis Wyndham’s The Other Garden and Collected Stories – J.K. Fox

Richard Yates’ ‘Fun with a Stranger’JL Bogenschneider