The Best American Short Stories 2018

Roxane Gay - 2018
    “I am looking for the artful way any given story is conveyed,” writes Roxane Gay in her introduction to The Best American Short Stories 2018, “but I also love when a story has a powerful message, when a story teaches me something about the world.” The artful, profound, and sometimes funny stories Gay chose for the collection transport readers from a fraught family reunion to an immigration detention center, from a psychiatric hospital to a coed class sleepover in a natural history museum. We meet a rebellious summer camper, a Twitter addict, and an Appalachian preacher—all characters and circumstances that show us what we “need to know about the lives of others.”

The O. Henry Prize Stories 2018

Laura Furman - 2018
    Henry Prize Stories 2018 contains twenty prize-winning stories chosen from thousands published in literary magazines over the previous year. The winning stories come from a mix of established writers and emerging voices, and are uniformly breathtaking. They are accompanied by essays from the eminent jurors on their favorites, observations from the winning writers on what inspired their stories, and an extensive resource list of magazines that publish short fiction.The Tomb of Wrestling, Jo Ann Beard, Tin House Counterblast, Marjorie Celona, The Southern Review Nayla, Youmna Chlala, Prairie Schooner Lucky Dragon, Viet Dinh, Ploughshares Stop 'n' Go, Michael Parker, New England Review Past Perfect Continuous, Dounia Choukri, Chicago Quarterly Review Inversion of Marcia, Thomas Bolt, n+1 Nights in Logar, Jamil Jan Kochai, A Public Space How We Eat, Mark Jude Poirier, Epoch Deaf and Blind, Lara Vapnyar, The New Yorker Why Were They Throwing Bricks?, Jenny Zhang, n+1 An Amount of Discretion, Lauren Alwan, The Southern Review Queen Elizabeth, Brad Felver, One Story The Stamp Collector, Dave King, Fence More or Less Like a Man, Michael Powers, The Threepenny Review The Earth, Thy Great Exchequer, Ready Lies, Jo Lloyd, Zoetrope Up Here, Tristan Hughes, Ploughshares The Houses That Are Left Behind, Brenda Walker, The Kenyon Review We Keep Them Anyway, Stephanie A. Vega, The Threepenny Review Solstice, Anne Enright, The New YorkerPrize Jury for 2018: Fiona McFarlane, Ottessa Moshfegh, Elizabeth Tallent

Night Train: New and Selected Stories

Thom Jones - 2018
    This scorching collection from award-winning author Thom Jones features his best new short fiction alongside a selection of outstanding stories from three previous books. Jones's stories are full of high-octane, prose-drunk entertainment. His characters are grifters and drifters, rogues and ne'er-do-wells, would-be do-gooders whose human frailties usually get the better of them. Some are lovable, others are not, but each has an indelible and irresistible voice. They include Vietnam soldiers, amateur boxers, devoted doctors, strung-out advertising writers, pill poppers and veterans of the psych ward, and an unforgettable adolescent DJ radio host, among others. The stories here are excursions into a unique world that veers between abject desperation and fleeting transcendence. Perhaps no other writer in recent memory could encapsulate in such short spaces the profound and the devastating, the poignant and the hallucinatory, with such an exquisite balance of darkness and light. Jones's fiction reveals again and again the resilience and grace of characters who refuse to succumb. In stories that can at once delight us with their wicked humor and sting us with their affecting pathos, Night Train perfectly captures the essence of this iconic American master, showcasing in a single collection the breadth of power of his inimitable fiction.

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden

Denis Johnson - 2018
    It follows the groundbreaking, highly acclaimed Jesus’ Son. Written in the same luminous prose, this collection finds Johnson in new territory, contemplating old age, mortality, the ghosts of the past, and the elusive and unexpected ways the mysteries of the universe assert themselves. Finished shortly before Johnson’s death in May 2017, this collection is the last word from a writer whose work will live on for many years to come.

The Dinner Party and Other Stories

Joshua Ferris - 2017
    Eleven stories by Joshua Ferris, many of which were first published in The New Yorker, on topics such as the modern tribulations of marriage, ambition, and the fear of missing out.The dinner party --The valetudinarian --The pilot --A night out --The breeze --Ghost town choir --More abandon (or whatever happened to Joe Pope?) --Fragments --The stepchild --Life in the heart of the dead --A fair price

Bobcat and Other Stories

Rebecca Lee - 2010
    A student plagiarizes a paper and holds fast to her alibi until she finds herself complicit in the resurrection of one professor's shadowy past. A dinner party becomes the occasion for the dissolution of more than one marriage. A woman is hired to find a wife for the one true soulmate she's ever found. In all, Rebecca Lee traverses the terrain of infidelity, obligation, sacrifice, jealousy, and yet finally, optimism. Showing people at their most vulnerable, Lee creates characters so wonderfully flawed, so driven by their desire, so compelled to make sense of their human condition, that it's impossible not to feel for them when their fragile belief in romantic love, domestic bliss, or academic seclusion fails to provide them with the sort of force field they'd expected.

The O. Henry Prize Stories 2016

Laura FurmanCharles Haverty - 2016
    Henry Prize Stories 2016 gathers twenty of the best short stories of the year, selected from thousands published in literary magazines. The winning stories range in setting from Japan at the outset of World War II to a remote cabin in the woods of Wyoming, and the characters that inhabit them range from a misanthropic survivor of an apocalyptic flood to a unicorn hidden in a suburban house. Whether fantastical or realistic, gothic or lyrical, the stories here are uniformly breathtaking. They are accompanied by the editor's introduction, essays from the eminent jurors on their favorites, observations from the winning writers on what inspired them, and an extensive resource list of magazines.CONTENTS"Irises," Elizabeth Genovise"The Mongerji Letters," Geetha Iyer"Narrator," Elizabeth Tallent"Bonus Baby," Joe Donnelly"Divergence," David H. Lynn"A Simple Composition," Shruti Swamy"Storm Windows," Charles Haverty"Train to Harbin," Asako Serizawa"Dismemberment," Wendell Berry"Exit Zero," Marie-Helene Bertino"Cigarettes," Sam Savage"Temples," Adrienne Celt"Safety," Lydia Fitzpatrick"Bounty," Diane Cook"A Single Deliberate Thing," Zebbie Watson"The Crabapple Tree," Robert Coover"Winter 1965," Frederic Tuten "They Were Awake," Rebecca Evanhoe"Slumming," Ottessa Moshfegh "Happiness," Ron CarlsonThe Jurors on Their Favorites: Molly Antopol, Peter Cameron, Lionel ShriverThe Writers on Their WorkPublications SubmittedFor author interviews, photos, and more, go to

Five Tuesdays in Winter

Lily King - 2021
    A bookseller's unspoken love for his employee rises to the surface, a neglected teenage boy finds much-needed nurturing from an unlikely pair of college students hired to housesit, a girl's loss of innocence at the hands of her employer's son becomes a catalyst for strength and confidence, and a proud nonagenarian rages helplessly in his granddaughter's hospital room. Romantic, hopeful, brutally raw, and unsparingly honest, some even slipping into the surreal, these stories are, above all, about King's enduring subject of love.

New Sudden Fiction: Short-Short Stories from America and Beyond

Robert Shapard - 2007
    In the process they discovered both new talents and a wealth of celebrated writers, such as Jorge Luis Arzola, Aimee Bender, Teolinda Gersão, Romulus Linney, Yann Martel, Sam Shepard, and Tobias Wolff. Zdravka Evitmova conjures blood drops that cure any disease. Ian Frazier writes public relations for crows. Juan José Milás leads an amnesiac husband to an affair in the candlelit darkness of a cathedral with his wife. These tales told quickly offer pleasures long past their telling.

Among the Missing

Dan Chaon - 2001
    Chaon mines the psychological landscape of his characters to dazzling effect. Each story radiates with sharp humor, mystery, wonder, and startling compassion. Among the Missing lingers in the mind through its subtle grace and power of language.


Tim Horvath - 2012
    Whether making offhand references to Mystery Science Theater, providing a new perspective on Heidegger’s philosophy and forays into Nazism, or following the imaginary travels of a library book, Horvath’s writing is as entertaining as it is thought provoking.

The Best Small Fictions 2015

Tara Lynn MasihYennie Cheung - 2015
    Fifty-five acclaimed and emerging writers—including Emma Bolden, Ron Carlson, Kelly Cherry, Stuart Dybek, Blake Kimzey, Roland Leach, Bobbie Ann Mason, Diane Williams, and Hiromi Kawakami—have made the debut of The Best Small Fictions 2015 something significant, something worthwhile, and something necessary. Featuring spotlights on Pleiades journal and Michael Martone, this international volume—with Pulitzer Prize–winning author Robert Olen Butler serving as guest editor and award-winning editor Tara L. Masih as series editor—is a celebration of the diversity and quality captured in fiction forms fewer than 1,000 words. ................................................."Whatever one calls them—flash fictions, microfictions, short shorts—the number of outlets where such pieces are published continue to grow along with the interest of readers and writers in the form. The time is right for a Best of the Year anthology."—Stuart Dybek, author of The Coast of Chicago and Ecstatic Cahoots"These small fictions are small only in length, not in impact. Their minuteness provides a different lens upon life—one that illuminates the telling yet elusive moments that bigger stories often overlook. A different slant on the truth emerges not in spite of their length, but because of it. Short shorts often seem like the quiet stepchild in the fiction family—overshadowed by vociferous novels, not quite dressed in the right attire as conventional short stories. A series celebrating these tiny gems is long overdue."—Grant Faulkner, cofounder of 100 Word Story, author of Fissures"The loud and long message of the seemingly quiet and the definitely short is in ample supply in The Best Small Fictions 2015. From a mother’s fury over misspelled words in Dee Cohen’s ‘By Heart’, to a father’s disintegration in David Mellerick Lynch’s ‘Lunar Deep’, there is pathos, depth, and welcome language-fireworks in these small gems. Chekhov would be proud of how briefly these writers manage to speak on lengthy subjects."—Nuala Ní Chonchúir, author of Miss Emily"The Best Small Fictions 2015 is essential reading for anyone who enjoys not just small fiction, but fiction in general. Don't miss it!"—Robert Swartwood, editor of Hint Fiction:An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer

The Isle of Youth: Stories

Laura van den Berg - 2013
    From a newlywed caught in an inscrutable marriage, to private eyes working a baffling case in South Florida, to a teenager who assists her magician mother and steals from the audience, the characters in these bewitching stories are at once vulnerable and dangerous, bighearted and ruthless, and they will do what it takes to survive.Each tale is spun with elegant urgency, and the reader grows attached to the marginalized young women in these stories—women grappling with the choices they've made and searching for the clues to unlock their inner worlds. This is the work of a fearless writer whose stories feel both magical and mystical, earning her the title of "sorceress" from her readers. Be prepared to fall under her spell. An NPR Best Book of 2013

The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway - 1925
    For Hemingway fans The Complete Short Stories is an invaluable treasury.


Emma Cline - 2020
    A man travels to his son’s school to deal with the fallout of a violent attack and to make sure his son will not lose his college place. But what exactly has his son done? And who is to blame? A young woman trying to make it in LA, working in a clothes shop while taking acting classes, turns to a riskier way of making money but will be forced to confront the danger of the game she’s playing. And a family coming together for Christmas struggle to skate over the lingering darkness caused by the very ordinary brutality of a troubled husband and father.These outstanding stories examine masculinity, male power and broken relationships, while revealing – with astonishing insight and clarity – those moments of misunderstanding that can have life-changing consequences. And there is an unexpected violence, ever-present but unseen, in the depiction of the complicated interactions between men and women, and families. Subtle, sophisticated and displaying an extraordinary understanding of human behaviour, these stories are unforgettable.