Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Hot on the heels of Alice Munro's Nobel Prize for Literature comes the news that Lynn Coady has won the Giller for her collection of short stories, Hellgoing.
     Could this be a sign that the short story has once again claimed its rightful place in the firmament of literary respectability?
     Collections of short stories are notorious hard to get published, but maybe a new generation's love affair with e-books and all things digital will kindle a revival of interest in this often overlooked art form.
     Here's an article by Thom Grier of Entertainment Weekly about book trailers that might bode well for the future of the short story.

"Cheever and Updike were my literary parents; the vistas they described—the 1960s and 1970s, the shaken cocktails, the urgent bad sex, the smoky, Nixonian America—amplified my own narrow vision. Casting further back, Hemingway and Fitzgerald represented (impossible to imagine this now) literary polar opposites—bullfights and Africa! Martinis and money!
     Drawn to decadence in every form, I also wanted to read writing that might erase boundaries of generation, gender, race and class, and show how one might live more fully in the great body of humanity. I discovered American champions of working class experience--Tillie Olsen, Grace Paley, Raymond Carver--then Tolstoy, Chekhov, Babel, Kafka, and Borges. I’m still regularly blown open by the wildly different effects writers achieve using the somewhat limited range of 
human experience, language and consciousness.
      The following 10 collections—whole atmospheres made entirely of words—feel essential, either because they manage to make human experience feel new, or because, like some uncle who left a $1,000,000 legacy, their influence lingers. [...]"
— Carolyn Cooke, Publishers Weekly
Read more…

Buy books by all the authors mentioned in this post here...

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