Sunday, October 19, 2014
The Sunday Salon and Tell Me a Story... Short Story Collections
When I was a kid, I loved bedtime stories! I still love them now, but they take the form of a different genre... Short Stories. Sometimes you just don't have time to invest in a full length novel, but you hunger to read all the same.
There are many great writers who love writing short stories. Ray Bradbury is famous for writing a short story every day. William Sydney Porter, also known as O'Henry, was such a beloved short story writer that there is an award in his name, the O'Henry Award. Who hasn't read Edgar Allen Poe or Washington Irving, both wonderful short story writers, during the month of October? Alice Munro even won the Nobel Prize in Literature, and she ONLY writes short stories.
Where to find some great short stories? Here are 3 newly published collections that may satisfy that late night snack called reading...
Penetrating characterization, unsparing eye, and rascally intelligence are fully on display in this collection of stories. Mantel's classic wicked humor in each story—which range from a ghost story to a vampire story to near-memoir to mini-sagas of family and social fracture—brilliantly unsettles the reader in that unmistakably Mantel way. Mantel brutally and acutely writes about gender, marriage, class, family, and sex, cutting to the core of human experience. Unpredictable, diverse, and even shockingly unexpected, each story grabs you by the throat within a couple of sentences.
Hilary Mantel has won numerous literary awards, including 2 Man Booker Prizes, and now offers us up some of that great writing in smaller tidbits. This has gotten a lot of great press and I have put it on my TBR list!
A recently widowed fantasy writer is guided through a stormy winter evening by the voice of her late husband. An elderly lady with Charles Bonnet’s syndrome comes to terms with the little people she keeps seeing, while a newly-formed populist group gathers to burn down her retirement residence. A woman born with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire. And a crime committed long-ago is revenged in the Arctic via a 1.9 billion year old stromatalite. In these nine tales, Margaret Atwood ventures into the shadowland earlier explored by fabulists and concoctors of dark yarns such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Daphne du Maurier and Arthur Conan Doyle.
Margaret Atwood, famous for her speculative fiction (that's kind of like science fiction without all the interstellar travel) gives us a sampling of her writing with her take on short stories. No stranger to short stories, these stories from Margaret Atwood should prove satisfying as always. Another book on my wish list!
I was excited to receive this short story collection to review because the stories sounded so grounded. Stories about real people dealing with real situations. The reviews for this book have been wonderful and Bonnie ZoBell, even though she is not a household name (yet), has won numerous accolades and awards for her writing. I'm looking forward to cracking the spine on Bonnie's collection of stories and will be reviewing it soon!
So, do you read short stories? I know a lot of readers who don't, because they feel that these collections are not "real" books. I don't prefer short stories, but it is a nice escape. Any recommendations for our short story reading?! Let me know what some of your favorite short stories are! In the meantime...
Happy reading... Suzanne