Posts tagged short stories

Different kinds of writer

I have a bad habit, sometimes, of generalising about what “writers” are like, mostly based only on my own experience. Last night I got a good reminder that there are many different kinds of writer. I was performing at an event called “Stand up for Books“, organised by the Society of Authors and the Society of Young Publishers. I was… Read More

Off-key stories hit the mark

I was excited to meet Courttia Newland at Bim Literary Festival here in Barbados earlier this year. He’s a British writer, but was here because his mother is Barbadian. I’d read his debut novel The Scholar when it first came out, which I now realise is a long time ago (like, last millennium). Had always planned to try another of… Read More

How much would you pay for a short story?

Quick question for you. I’m thinking of making some of my short stories available for download from this site, but am not sure how much to charge for them. So I’ve set up a quick poll, below. I’d really appreciate your vote (oh dear, I sound like a politician). Seriously, though, it would help, and please be honest. If you… Read More

“Maybe This Time” by Alois Hotschnig

I found Maybe This Time a very unsettling collection of short stories. I mean that in a good way. Being unsettled is often the prelude to thinking about things in a new way, and to me that’s one of the most important functions of literature. The stories are very varied in style and content, but many of them deal with… Read More

“Best European Fiction 2010” edited by Aleksandar Hemon

This was a very interesting collection of short stories from around Europe. There’s one piece from each country, so it really felt like a broad and varied collection rather than being weighted toward particular countries. One thing I didn’t like is that some of them were extracts from longer pieces, which I don’t think works very well. A short story… Read More

“Bon Voyage, Mr President” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

A short book of four short stories. I liked the main one, Bon Voyage Mr President. It’s quite a straightforward story, with none of the magical realism for which Marquez is known. The dying ex-president of a Caribbean nation is in Geneva, seeing doctors about a mysterious ailment. A man from his home nation recognises him and invites him to… Read More

“Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida” Part 5

The final part in my journey through Russian literature. For the original post in the series, please click here. Varlam Shalamov Here we move into the Stalinist era and writing about the Gulag. Through the Snow is a beautiful extended metaphor about writing as walking through virgin snow, with readers coming along behind on tractors and horses. Berries is about… Read More

“Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida” Part 4

For the original post in this series, click here. Isaak Babel These three stories come from Babel’s posting as the equivalent of an embedded war correspondent with a Cossack regiment in Poland in 1920. They are not compromised or sanitised in any way, however: the convey the full savagery and horror not only of war but of military life. My… Read More