Short stories

The latest short stories have a bleak take on romance

22 July 2017 9:00 am

It can’t be easy to switch between editing others people’s fiction and writing your own: how do you suspend that…

Leonora Carrington’s adventures in surrealism

15 April 2017 9:00 am

The surrealists’ muse and a distinguished artist in her own right, Leonora Carrington captivated all who met her, says Jane Rye

Love and loss in America’s wide open spaces

4 February 2017 9:00 am

We know our way around Raymond Carver’s blue-collar cityscapes and Updike’s urban angst and despair. Rick Bass opens a window…

Diane Williams’s surreal parables are an acquired taste — and one well worth acquiring

12 November 2016 9:00 am

There is a common assumption that experimental writing — for want of a better term — is obscure, joyless and…

The latest African authors take on globalisation

23 July 2016 9:00 am

In a Johannesburg mall, a listless and lonely IT worker chats with his dad about the bitter fruits of upward…

Roald Dahl’s perfect reader was his mother

25 June 2016 8:00 am

Love from Boy: Roald Dahl’s Letters to his Mother

The blind boy who learnt to see with sound

20 February 2016 9:00 am

The deadline for Radio 2’s 500 Words competition falls next Thursday. Children between the ages of five and 13 are…

Time is of the essence in Helen Simpson’s Cockfosters

21 November 2015 9:00 am

Helen Simpson is not a prolific writer; six slim collections of short stories in 25 years, each timed quinquennially with…

Author Ken Kalfus (Photo: Getty)

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and other characters to make you cry with laughter

11 July 2015 9:00 am

Coup de Foudre has a line from Antony and Cleopatra as its epigraph: ‘Some innocents ’scape not the thunderbolt.’ In…

Fathers and sons — seen from multiple angles

30 May 2015 9:00 am

‘People talk about their childhood and it’s so mundane. I don’t remember much about it, if I’m honest. I can’t…

The secret life of the short story

4 April 2015 9:00 am

The short story likes to play the underdog. Famously unfavoured by publishers, it has none of the commercial clout of…

Edith Pearlman in 2012

The short story in Britain today: enough to make Conan Doyle weep

10 January 2015 9:00 am

Philip Hensher bewails the current neglect of the short story, especially in the British literary press

Stories about storytelling: Kirsty Gunn’s preoccupation with words is utterly entrancing

3 January 2015 9:00 am

Although entitled Infidelities this collection of short stories could as well be called Choices, because that is what really preoccupies…

The problem when novelists write short stories

8 November 2014 9:00 am

Rose Tremain walks on water. Her historical novels are absolutely marvellous, brilliantly plotted, witty and wise, with some of the…

Hilary Mantel’s fantasy about killing Thatcher is funny. Honest

27 September 2014 8:00 am

Heaven knows what the millions of purchasers of the Man Booker-winning Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies will make…

Tip-toeing through Sri Lanka

26 July 2014 9:00 am

‘The first night I stayed in Kilinochchi, I was a little apprehensive,’ admits the usually cool-headed Vasantha, van-driver and narrator…

The Russian literary celebrity who begged Tolstoy to spare Prince Andrei

19 July 2014 9:00 am

Nadezhda Alexandrovna Lokhvitskaya was a literary celebrity in pre-revolutionary St Petersburg. She chose the pen-name ‘Teffi’ because it was androgynous,…

There's so much mystery around Charles Portis that we're not even clear whether he’s alive

7 June 2014 9:00 am

The American writer, Charles Portis, has had what some novelists — the more purist ones — might regard as an…

No one would want to live in Jane Gardam's stories – but they're an amazing place to visit

24 May 2014 9:00 am

In the world of Jane Gardam’s stories the past is always present, solid and often unwanted and always too big,…

Don't let creative writing students read this book

12 April 2014 9:00 am

One of these is by Lydia Davis, acclaimed American writer. One is not. They are whole pieces, by the way,…

Samuel Beckett walks into a nail bar

29 March 2014 9:00 am

It isn’t very often that a writer’s work is so striking that you can remember exactly where and when you…

Sometimes one story is worth buying a whole book for. This is one of those times

8 March 2014 9:00 am

Any new book by Lorrie Moore is a cause for rejoicing, but her first collection of short stories for 16…

The food of love

4 January 2014 9:00 am

The Albek Duo are two astonishingly beautiful and talented Venetian musicians, Fiona and Ambra, who are identical twins. Hearing the…

Ann Patchett's new book will win you over, in spite of yourself

30 November 2013 9:00 am

Ann Patchett’s novels revel in the tightly constructed ecosystems imagined for their characters: an opera singer besieged among diplomats in…

Shire, by Ali Smith - review

3 August 2013 9:00 am

Pastoral elegy is not what you expect to find in a collection of short stories, but then Ali Smith is…