Sensational Short Stories

This month we’ve asked our librarians to share their favorite short stories.  Check them out below!


In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin
 I first read this collection when I  was an undergrad and often return to it. Mueenuddin depicts the disparity between the upper and lower classes of Pakistani society through an interrelated cast of characters who are as acerbic as they are memorable.
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“Omakase” by Weike Wang
 This story is both hilarious and uncomfortable in its portrayal of identity and race relations.
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“The Witch of Duva” by Leigh Bardugo
Hunger, winter, and magic collide in this dark tale inspired by Grimm’s fairytales.

Tenth of December by George Saunders
Thunderstruck and Other Stories by Elizabeth McCracken
Stay Awake by Dan Chaon
Best American Short Stories 2011 – especially “The Sleep” by Caitlin Horrocks
A Tyranny of Petticoats edited by Jessica Spotswood
The Radical Element edited by Jessica Spotswood

Kelly Link is my absolute favorite writer of short stories.  I’d read anything by her, but here are some of my favorites that she’s written & edited:
Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link
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Stephen King is responsible for getting me interested in short stories at a young age.  His collections are always great, but my favorites by him are:
Skeleton Crew by Stephen King
Just After Sunset by Stephen King (“N” is the standout in this collection.)
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A few miscellaneous recent favorites are:
How Long ’til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

Rashomon and Other Stories by Ryonusuke Akutagawa
Books of Blood by Clive Barker
Casa Tomada Y Otros Relates (House Taken Over and Other Stories) by Julio Cortazar
Jesus’ Son by Dennis Johnson
War By Candlelight by Daniel Alarcon
Iraq +100 edited by Hassan Blasim
The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
The Corpse Exhibition by Hassan Blasim
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

I used to think I didn’t like short stories, because my first encounter with them was an anthology with an orange cover in my seventh grade English class. They all seemed to have sudden, surprise, or trick endings like Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” (which is a great story, but I didn’t love it at age 12). There have been some fantastic collections of speculative short stories recently: Exhalation and Stories of Your Life And Others by Ted Chiang, How Long ’til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin, Get in Trouble by Kelly Link, The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu, Starlings by Jo Walton, Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories by Kelly Barnhill. And some of my favorite realistic short fiction writers are Lorrie Moore (Birds of America), Elizabeth McCracken (Thunderstruck), and Simon Van Booy (Love Begins in Winter). And if you listen to The Moth, or even if you don’t, The Moth Presents All These Wonders is a collection full of gems – there’s not a dud in the bunch (plus, it’s got a gorgeous cover).

What are your favorite short stories?  Let us know in the comments below!
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