Short Stories 2020
Anthologies of short stories published in the UK
London-based indie Influx Press published Attrib and Other Stories by Eley Williams to huge acclaim, here’s another collection it is tipping for great things: one of short stories which draw on the human need to be in control, no matter what the cost.
Influx Press, £7.99, 20th February 2020, 9781910312476
A woman granted a superpower discovers it’s more trouble than it’s worth; a neighbour forum becomes the setting for a bizarre ghost story; and a harassed dad attempts the primary school cake competition.
Sandstone Press Ltd, £8.99, 23rd January 2020, 9781912240876
Set in various cities around the world—Hong Kong, New York, London, Ipoh and Singapore—these stories explore the Singaporean-Malaysian diaspora and those who are torn between different cultures. “Full of verve and wit”, says Monica Ali.
Myriad Editions, £8.99, 23rd January 2020, 9781912408368
Twenty-eight women from 28 countries share their vision for the future of Europe. Includes short stories and literary essays from contributors including Lela Slimani. .
Comma Press, £12.99, 12th March 2020, 9781912697298
Ten stories (ranging from crime to SFF) from writers associated with the single largest city in the world (over 24 million residents) once known as the “Paris of the East” and now China’s cultural capital.
Comma Press, £9.99, 6th February 2020, 9781912697274
An illustrated, modern retelling of the classic fables. “A reminder that adult minds were originally the target of this litany of pocket-sized parables,” said the Sunday Independent.
Head of Zeus, £9.99, 9th January 2020, 9781789542622
Debut collection of interconnected short stories set on a fictional west London council estate. It examines the complex inner lives of working-class men struggling with the concept of masculinity.
Dialogue Books, £14.99, 13th February 2020, 9780349701134
With foreword by 2019 Women’s Prize-winner Tayari Jones, this collection from Hurston (1881-1960), one of the central figures of the Harlem Renaissance, is about love and migration, gender and class, racism and sexism. Includes eight “lost” and previously unpublished stories by “one of the greatest writers of our time”, according to Toni Morrison.
HQ, £12.99, 20th February 2020, 9780008374716
Billed as a “quirky and magical” collection, these stories were inspired by the author’s stint as a bookseller at Mr B’s Emporium in Bath: “I began to see how books become our ‘escape routes’ out of the ordinary world-out of drudgery, mundanity, out of set ways of thinking and our own emotional limitations.” She is also the daughter of Nobel-winning novelist Kazuo Ishiguro.
Tinder Press, £14.99, 6th February 2020, 9781472264855
Grin (pronounced Green) is one of Russia’s most enduringly popular writers, I’m told, although he remains little translated into English. To rectify that, Columbia University Press has brought together Grin’s best stories, which it claims are comparable to Robert Louis Stevenson and Edgar Allan Poe.
Columbia University Press, £13.99, 7th January 2020, 9780231189774
Collection of short stories from the reliably brilliant Kennedy, twice selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists and winner of the Costa Book of the Year for Day. “Wry, caustic and unsparing,” says Cape. BookScan
Jonathan Cape Ltd, £16.99, 2nd April 2020, 9781787331822
First UK publication for these short stories from cult Australian author Murnane, originally published from 1985 to 2012.
And Other Stories, £12.99, 27th February 2020, 9781911508649
Short story collection from the Danish Booker International Prize shortlistee (Mirror, Shoulder, Signal) is “a series of intimate, psychologically acute portraits of individuals in states of emotional crisis”.
Pushkin Press, £9.99, 23rd April 2020, 9781782275503
Twelve short stories from the Costa-shortlisted Irish writer spanning a century and two continents and exploring “the resilience of the human heart and its ability to keep beating even in the wake of grief, trauma and lost love”.
Jonathan Cape Ltd, £14.99, 7th January 2020, 9781787330900
This debut short story collection about infidelity, faith and family was called “passionate, sensuous, savagely intense and remarkable” by the New York Times.
Picador, £8.99, 9th January 2020, 9781509859009
The short story collection featuring the record-breaking “Cat Person”, which became the New Yorker’s most read short story ever, with more than 2.6 million hits and counting. Published as You Know You Want This in hardback, the Times said that “‘it’s only a matter of time before you find yourself thumping someone’s dinner table vigorously as you discuss [this]… Roupenian’s latest tales are sexy, chilling and disturbingly gruesome in finest fairytale tradition”. HBO has greenlit the development of Cat Person and Other Stories into an anthology drama series. An eye-catching cover.
Vintage, £8.99, 6th February 2020, 9781784709204
Mary Gaitskill rates this debut collection-“poignant and deceptively quiet stories… powerhouses of feeling and depth”-from the Canadian poet who was born in a refugee camp in Thailand. She captures the day-to-day lives of immigrants in a nameless city, illuminating their hopes, disappointments, love affairs, and pursuit of a place to belong.
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, £14.99, 16th April 2020, 9781526610430
Next in Comma’s popular Reading the City series turns to “the original northern powerhouse”, with contributions from poets and novelists inspired by the city. Edited by the Costa Short Story Award-winning Readman, this will be launched at Books on Tyne: The Newcastle Book Festival.
Comma Press, £9.99, 17th January 2020, 9781905583102
Fifteen stories of women, from teenage to elderly, who are trying to be themselves while clowning around for others. At the centre of each story is a woman engaged in an act of self-preservation, says Myriad.
Myriad Editions, £8.99, 26th March 2020, 9781912408382
Reality-twisting stories about the human thirst for connection amid rapid technological advancement: a man is given a choice to have his trauma surgically removed; a mourning daughter brings her dead mother back as a hologram-but the source material isn’t quite right.
The Text Publishing Company, £10.99, 4th February 2020, 9781922268549