If you happen to be looking for some good reads to browse through as the days lengthen, perhaps on your porch or at the beach, look no further. The Inklette team has compiled a list of beloved short stories and short story collections for you to peruse at your leisure.
Jagannath (Karin Tidbeck)
This collection of short stories, covering narratives from people falling in love with machines to a girl following vittra in the woods, explores how disorienting, beautiful, and downright absurd our reality is when observed through different lenses. I’d recommend this collection to anyone interested in science fiction and fantasy with an intimate streak of psychological realism.
–Joanna Cleary, Blog Editor
The Dead Go to Seattle (Vivian Faith Prescott)
This collection is made up of 43 linked stories that take place in Wrangell, Alaska and are told by a young woman named Tova. Through the stories Tove tells, she reveals elements of herself, her hometown, the people with whom she grew up, the history and even the myths from her small town. I’d recommend this collection to anyone who loves stories centered around place and how place shapes identity, and to anyone who loves cultural mythology.
–Lisa Stice, Poetry Editor
Her Body and Other Parties (Carmen Maria Machado)
Women begin to physically fade away during the Great Recession. Bodies respond to weight loss attempts in a terrifying manner. In this collection, readers will find stories that combine horror, fairy tales, queer love, and all manner of darkness and light. Machado’s writing defies categorization, and her deft exploration of the meaning of women’s bodies through gorgeous prose will appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman and Helen Oyeyemi.
–Sophie Panzer, Prose Editor
Dove mi trovo (Jhumpa Lahiri)
This might seem like a strange choice. Lahiri’s second book written in Italian is a romanzo, a novel. But every chapter of the books reads like a short story, a very short story story, and some chapters even read like microfiction. Although only available in Italian currently, the book is extremely different from anything Lahiri has ever written. There is something dialogic about her work– the way the narrator speaks with isolation, the isolation of places around her and the isolation of time. Everything is fused closely within the scope of her minute, razor-edged words, and yet everything seems dispersed. The close of every chapter leaves you with a gasp. Instead of folding close, every chapter folds in on itself as most endings in the form of the short story do.
–Devanshi Khetarpal, Editor-in-Chief
Dreaming of Ramadi in Detroit (Aisha Sabatini Sloan)
Race, sexuality, youth, memory, family, art, violence, pop culture and more all intersect in Sloan’s collection of essays. All twelve pieces read as separate stories within the continuum of her life. Sloan plays with form, teaching the reader how to read the page which shape-shifts throughout each story. Somehow we find intimacy in the moments of ambiguity and concern in her profound critique over what it means to be a living, breathing, complex human of right now.
–Maria Prudente, Blog Editor
Thirteen Ways of Looking (Colum McCann)
McCann’s novella-length piece, the first narrative in his eponymous collection of tales about empathy, is, at heart, an experimental inspection of male aging. Peter Mendelssohn’s story of growing old is elegantly woven into a detective frame and contemplates the many losses that old age provokes. It’s an angry piece that reeks of bodily inabilities and slow decay—but reads as a poetic exploration of words, language, and life. McCann’s story is thus a painful read with some unexpected twists and turns, but more importantly, one that cautions us to be patient with each other.
-Stela Dujakovic, Prose Editor
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