Short Stories

Cover image for How to Gust a Fish by Sheila Armstrong

How to Gut a Fish by Sheila Armstrong: A striking, idiosyncratic collection

Irish writer Sheila Armstrong’s debut collection How to Gut a Fish came with a glowing endorsement from Roddy Doyle which was part of the lure for me; that and the hint of the surreal in its blurb. The collection comprises fourteen stories, none more than twenty pages long, each very different from the other. As …

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Cover image for Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King

Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King: Astute observation plus a few dark surprises

I was delighted to spot Lily King’s Five Tuesdays in Winter on Twitter having enjoyed both Writers & Lovers and Father of the Rain. It’s her first short story collection, comprising ten pieces many of which explore themes of love, relationships and parenthood, some with a darker edge than I remember from her novels. He …

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Cover image for Things We Do Not Tell the People We Love by Huma Qureshi

Things We Do Not Tell the People We Love by Huma Qureshi: A quietly accomplished collection

I take occasional digs on here at the hype which pervades Twitter where every book is super fabulous but it has to be said I’m often grateful when a book is flagged I might have otherwise missed. Huma Qureshi’s Things We Do Not Tell the People We Love is a case in point. Comprising nine …

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Cover image for Address Book by Neil Bartlett

Address Book by Neil Bartlett: Seven stories of love and belonging

It was its structure that attracted me to Neil Bartlett’s Address Book. It’s a set of seven loosely linked short stories each of which takes place in London in different times and different situations, all sharing the themes of home, belonging and love. I usually pick out the best of the bunch with short story …

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Cover image for Tunnelling to the Centre of the Earth by Kevin Wilson

Tunneling to the Centre of the Earth by Kevin Wilson: ‘I don’t think I belong here’  

I spotted Kevin Wilson’s Tunneling to the Centre of the Earth on Netgalley, reminding me of how much I enjoyed his novel, Nothing to See Here. It’s a new edition of his first short story collection comprising eleven pieces. Knowing that many of them were written when Wilson was a student, my expectations weren’t particularly …

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Cover image for The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans

The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans: ‘The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past’

I’d not read anything by Danielle Evans before The Office of Historical Corrections turned up, although the title of her prize-winning, Before You Suffocate your Own Fool Self, had caught my eye. This second collection comprises seven stories, one lengthy enough to qualify as a novella, which explore racism in America and its complicated history. …

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Cover image for Kreminology of kisses by Barabara Bleiman

Kreminology of Kisses by Barbara Bleiman: Sealed with a kiss, or not

Always a risky business agreeing to a review request from an author, something I rarely do. If I don’t like their book, it feels as if I’ve slapped them in the face. Last year, I struck lucky with Deirdre Shanahan’s Carrying Fire and Water which is perhaps what made me accept Barbara Bleiman’s offer of …

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Cover image for To Be a Man by Nicole Krauss

To Be a Man by Nicole Krauss: Men, women and the tensions in between

Nicole Krauss’ The History of Love was one of those novels you couldn’t get away from when it was published here in the UK back in 2006. I loved it. Since then I’ve read several novels by Krauss but none have quite matched it for me, including the smartly clever Forest Dark. That didn’t deter …

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Cover image for London Under Snow by Jordi llavina

London under Snow by Jordi Llavina (transl. Douglas Suttle): Wintery Catalonian tales

Recently launched, Fum D’Estampa Press is a small publisher dedicated to introducing Catalonian literature to English-speaking readers. A little niche you might think but if Jordi Llavina’s London Under Snow is anything to go by, worth seeking out. I was attracted to Llavina’s collection partly thanks to enjoying a short story roll after reading Dierdre …

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