Short stories worth reading

An ever-expanding list of short stories (old and new) that you ought to read right now, goddammit. Now. This very minute. (Click links for more info. Where online copies are available I have listed them here; please be aware some links are better than others!)

How to Become a Writerby Lorrie Moore (in Self-Help)

Writ, by Ali Smith (in The First Person and Other Stories)

Continuity of Parksby Julio Cortázar

The Ice Babyby Carys Bray

Like Mother Used to Make, by Shirley Jackson (from The Lottery and Other Storiesread the title story too… actually read all of them!)

It, by Adam Wilmington, winner of the 2013 Manchester Fiction Prize

A Good Man is Hard to Findby Flannery O’Connor (from the collection of the same name)

When the Door Closed, It was Dark, by Alison Moore (from The Pre-War House and other Stories)

Next Term We’ll Mash Youby Penelope Lively (from Pack of Cards)

The Company of Wolvesby Angela Carter (from The Bloody Chamber; just basically read the whole book)

My Polish Teacher’s Tieby Helen Dunmore (probably the most uplifting story ever written; from Ice Cream)

Pilgrims, by Julie Orringer (from How to Breathe Underwater)

The House of the Famous Poet, by Muriel Spark (in The Penguin Book of Modern British Short Stories)

Hotel des Boobsby David Lodge (also in the Penguin collection listed above)

A Perfect Day for Bananafishby J.D. Salinger (from Nine Stories)

The Terrors of Basket Weaving, by Patricia Highsmith (from The Black House)

Salmonella, by YA author Tim Kennemore (from Here Tomorrow, Gone Today) – which has stuck with me for near enough thirty years (and inspired one of my own stories).

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