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We love short stories, the end.


While some of us are using lockdown to disappear into doorstop-sized books we’ve always meant to read, some of us are struggling to focus on anything in which the end isn’t palpably in sight. Enter short story collections: perfectly-poised little whistlestop tours, delivering in multiples everything you need from a narrative, in perfect economic form.

Vignettes, scenes, concepts, twists, linked tales, flash fiction and more—we love short stories for what they are uniquely capable of. Whether a first foray for new writers or a new challenge for established hands, the form contains some of the most powerfully moving and dazzling fiction, honed, wildly imaginative and lingering long after the final word.

This is necessarily a gargantuan list, with lots missing—and plenty of crossover between genres. So we’ve organised as many of the collections we love into some very broad categories. Take a look at our selections below, headed by our current favourite, the newly published Good Citizens Need Not Fear, by Maria Reva, and be sure to read more of our recommendations over on our blog.
 


 

Good Citizens Need Not Fear by Maria RevaGood Citizens Need Not Fear by Maria Reva

Introducing Good Citizens Need Not Fear from debut writer Maria Reva—a wickedly wry, moving, morbid and surreal collection of linked short stories set in a Ukranian town before and after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Centred around the luckless inhabitants of a crumbling tower block—one which, according to state records, does not technically exist—this triumphant first book conjures a world of hysterical bureaucracy, censorship, ingenious thrift and small joys found in poverty; of totalitarian oppression and the humanity, in all its beauty and awkwardness, the state can never suppress.
 

Good Citizens has already garnered praise from writers including Margaret Atwood, Yann Martel and Anthony Doerr. It’s an entirely effervescent collection, rich and joyous, in which the skilfully clear language of Ukranian-born Reva allows the characters and stories to seem to speak for themselves. And what characters and stories—
 

A factory worker is tasked to engineer a triangular vegetable to optimise canning efficiency. A woman copies Western music onto LPs made from x-rays and sells them on the black market. A poet is hounded for an anti-establishment joke his interrogator can’t repeat. A man leaves his grandparents a priceless cockroach in his will. A shrunken mummy is installed as a local saint.
 

 

 

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Tenth of December
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Alice Munro
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Last Stories
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William Trevor
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Kelly Link
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William Gibson
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Jesus' Son
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Denis Johnson
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Your Duck is My Duck
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Deborah Eisenberg
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Olive Kitteridge
(Paperback)
Elizabeth Strout
£8.99
Orange World
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Karen Russell
£14.99
Pack of Cards: Stories 1978-1986
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Penelope Lively
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Grand Union
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Zadie Smith
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Richard Ford
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Stephen King
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Yoko Ogawa; Stephen Snyder
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Sarah Hall
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Ann Quin; Jennifer Hodgson
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Jhumpa Lahiri
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Neil Gaiman
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Helen Dunmore
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Selected Stories
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Labyrinths: Selected Stories and ...
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Jorge Luis Borges; Donald A. Yates;...
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Dubliners
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Joyce James; James Joyce; James Joyce
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The Snows Of Kilimanjaro And Other...
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Ernest Hemingway
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About Love and Other Stories
(Paperback)
Anton Chekhov; Rosamund Bartlett
£7.99
Selected Stories
(Paperback)
Katherine Mansfield
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Tales of Mystery and Imagination
(Hardback)
Edgar Allan Poe
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The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird...
(Paperback)
H. P. Lovecraft; S. T. Joshi; S. T....
£9.99
The Complete Short Stories
(Paperback)
Franz Kafka
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The Periodic Table
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Primo Levi; Raymond Rosenthal
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The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories
(Paperback)
Angela Carter; Helen Simpson
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Kiss Kiss
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Roald Dahl
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The Lottery and Other Stories
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Shirley Jackson
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Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories
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The Great God Pan and Other Horror...
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Arthur Machen; Aaron Worth
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Richard Yates
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Octavia E. Butler
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Catastrophe and Other Stories
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Dino Buzzati; Judith Landry
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The Debutante and Other Stories
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Leonora Carrington; Sheila Heti;...
£9.99
Bestiary: The Selected Stories of...
(Paperback)
Julio Cortazar; Kevin Barry
£10.99
Invisible Cities
(Paperback)
Italo Calvino; William Weaver
£8.99
The Complete Short Stories
(Paperback)
Muriel Spark; Janice Galloway
£14.99
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Bohumil Hrabal
£8.99
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(Paperback)
Robert Aickman; Victoria Nelson
£12.99
Dangerous Visions
(Paperback)
Harlan Ellison
£9.99
The Complete Short Stories
(Paperback)
H. Munro; Saki
£10.99
Collected Ghost Stories
(Paperback)
M. R. James; Darryl Jones
£8.99
Complete Stories
(Paperback)
Flannery O'Connor
£12.99
Japanese Tales of Mystery and...
(Paperback)
Edogawa Rampo; Patricia Bjaaland Welch
£12.99
Horror Stories
(Paperback)
Edith Nesbit
£8.99
Seven Gothic Tales
(Paperback)
Isak Dinesen
£9.99
Gogol Collected Tales
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Nikolai Gogol
£12.99
The Collected Dorothy Parker
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Dorothy Parker; Brendan Gill
£12.99
Selected Stories
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O. Henry; Guy Davenport
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Anthologies

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Ken Liu; Ken Liu
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Helon Habila; Helon Habila
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James Thomas; Robert Shapard;...
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This Dreaming Isle
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Dan Coxon
£9.99
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Ken Liu; Ken Liu
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Helon Habila; Helon Habila
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James Thomas; Robert Shapard;...
£13.99
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