I had a great time, as always, talking about short stories on today’s episode of Studio 5 with Brooke Walker. The list is below or you can watch the segment HERE.
1. Tales of the Unexpected by Roald Dahl
If you are a fan of Roald Dahl’s famous children’s books, like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Witches, you must sample some of his writing for adults. A true master of the short narrative, no one can twist the regular into the irreverent and fascinating like Dahl.
2. The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury
Bradbury, one of the most famous short story writers, weaves a dark and fascinating narrative in this collection. Framed by a nameless narrator who meets the illustrated man – a man covered in living tattoos – each story tells the tale depicted by a piece of body art.From living cities, to Martian invasion, to endless rain, this collection is a kaleidoscope of imagination.
3. The Complete Stories by Flannery O’Connor
Hailed as the best woman writer of her time, Flannery O’Connor wrote about the Deep South in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Her command of prose, her broad imagination, and her ability to capture the spirit of a culture, make her stories timeless.
4. Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell
I am in total awe of author Karen Russell’s imagination and prose. Some of these stories I’m still thinking about weeks later, especially the one about the silk weavers. Wow! A few I didn’t care for, but mostly I was happy to devour her genius. And her words! Good grief – to write like that. No wonder she’s snatching up all the big time awards.
A superlative collections of short stories.
Content note: Sexual references, some mildly descriptive, about two dozen uses of the F-word and other foul language, violence – fighting and bullying.
5. Dear Life: Stories by Alice Munro
The New York Times Book Review said of Alice Munro, “one of the great short story writers not just of our time but of any time.” And in 2013 she won the Nobel Prize for Literature. This collection of stories, focused on the random events, big and small, that change our lives, is an interesting read. Her style is clean and simple, her emotional insights profound.
Content note: Some mild sexual references.