‘Each of these stories offers a different answer to the question of what it means to be a master of the form, and the associations between them have given this set its shape.’
The Faber Stories series is a treasure trove of short stories by masters of the art, all especially chosen to celebrate Faber’s 90th anniversary. The series is an eclectic mix of established favourites, such as the doyenne of the crime short, P.D. James, to the hottest new talent in the genre: for example, Sally Rooney. The selection has been put together in collaboration with author and journalist Gaby Wood, with ten titles available now and a further ten published in March. Angus Cargill, Editorial Director at Faber & Faber and editor of the Stories series, tells us more about the selection and the very striking cover designs.
Originally charged with the task by our former Publisher, Mitzi Angel, Gaby Wood has put together a fantastically eclectic list of short stories to help celebrate Faber’s 90th year. The first ten stories are publishing now, with a confirmed second set of ten titles for March carrying the same design and livery.
The brief to Gaby, when starting the process, was fairly open, and what she has come up with is a diverse, sometimes surprising, and always thrilling selection. Looking to Faber’s past, present and future, it celebrates this wonderfully varied literary form across time and continents and, perhaps most interestingly to me, genre, with its inclusion of crime, science fiction and Gothic stories alongside the more traditionally literary. From Kazuo Ishiguro’s exquisite near-farce to PD James’ wicked confessional, Djuna Barnes’ gender questioning triptych to Robert Aickman’s mind-bending story of the uncanny, Sally Rooney’s account of an uncertain love affair to Sylvia Plath’s previously unpublished 1952 allegory, these first ten stories set the tone for what is to follow. While you may know and cherish some already, others will be welcome discoveries, and as with the very best of this form, they all richly reward first reads and re-reads alike.
In terms of the design for the series, we wanted to create beautiful, collectable, physical editions, which looked both fresh and vintage, a nod to Gaby’s idea of representing Faber past, present and future. While the format and palette were prescribed by our in-house Design team, of Donna Payne and Jonny Pelham, each individual jacket was given to a different designer, and their responses, so exciting to see, individually and collectively, truly celebrate these short fiction gems.