Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Short stories

Happy New Year and welcome to the year of the short story. Only this afternoon journalist Bim Adewumni (@Bimadew) suggested that we should all give up "snobbery regarding short stories and essays". Yay!

Yes, this blog is written by two characters from a big fat novel (that be Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens) and big fat novels are my all-time favourite way of consuming fiction. But inspired by my former teacher and awesome novelist Susan Chehak Taylor (@stchehak), as well as being naturally poised at the cutting edge of the zeitgeist, in 2014 I will mainly be writing about short stories on this blog. I want to discover what it is about those brief works that can conjure up a universe in so few words. So I'm compiling a list of must-read short stories, with the help of friends on FB, Twitter and elsewhere, and am hoping that you too, dear readers, will rally round with further suggestions. If you've got ideas for short stories I need to read this year, please post them here. Bim recommended Sarah Hall's story Mrs Fox, which won the BBC national short story award in September, which will do nicely for starters.

No doubt life will hurl multiple spanners in this direction, but as Bim says, short stories "seem a perfect match for our hurried existences". (listen here from 40:53, available til 8 Jan 2013) Let reading commence.

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