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Collections of Good Short Stories by a Single Author?

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Showing 1-25 of 50 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 30, 2012 3:37:25 PM PST
I'd love some recommendations on really great short story collections. I prefer collections by a single author, but multiple authors are also okay as a fall-back. Please don't recommend the well-known classics. I'm looking for fresh, new perspectives. Thanks in advance!

Posted on Jan 30, 2012 9:45:11 PM PST
Lover of Art says:
If I Had My Way by Lena Sledge. It's a single author. Refreshing, great story, with a diverse and variety of interesting and compelling characters.

Posted on Jan 31, 2012 7:31:21 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 26, 2012 9:13:20 AM PST
KB says:

Stories lean on the raw/gritty side, but not all of them. Enjoy!

...and Free today, Feb 26th!

Posted on Jan 31, 2012 7:35:01 AM PST
Alice Munro. Jhumpa Lahiri. Have you read Robin Black's collection -- If I Loved You I Would Tell You This? Quite good. Or American Salvage by Bonnie Jo Campell? Oh, and ANY collection by Jean Thompson positively SINGS!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2012 11:30:13 PM PST
meltingsnow says:
Check out After the Flood and Other Stories by John Erwin. It isn't a long collection, but the stories are excellent.

Posted on Feb 5, 2012 11:46:08 AM PST
The Complete Short Stories Of Ernest Hemingway.

Posted on Feb 7, 2012 9:14:26 AM PST
Frank Mundo says:
Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It by Meile Meloy is a good collection if you like literary fiction by new authors. I received this book to review and enjoyed it. I also love T.C. Boyle's stories. He has a ton of short fiction.

Posted on Feb 10, 2012 5:13:16 AM PST
Far Lefkas says:
The Buddha in Malibu by William Harrison: title story about a hunky security guard working for the desperate but decidedly insecure. "Rollerball Murder" is included, but "The Rocky Hills of Trancas" sneaks up on you & ending of "The Makeup Man" is a horrific shocker.

Posted on Feb 10, 2012 8:59:11 AM PST
stonycal says:
Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, by Wells Tower--terrific stories by a young writer. Nathan Englander's first book, For the Relief of Unbearable Urges (themes are Jewish here, so if that doesn't interest you, maybe not a good choice). Grace Paley--fabulous short stories (Enormous Changes at the Last Minute; Little Disturbances of Man).

Posted on Feb 15, 2012 3:09:11 PM PST
Thanks for all the interesting suggestions. I've started a few and have a good list for the future. Let me know if you think of, or discover, any others.

Posted on Feb 15, 2012 6:24:00 PM PST
Promises of the Head to the Heart

is free today.

Posted on Feb 15, 2012 7:17:54 PM PST
Dragonstark says:
I'm still in the process of reading this collection. It's weird and it's main premise is Space Dragons, but there are a bunch of other stories (if space dragons aren't your cup of tea). Luckily I got it for free. I think it's still free:

Dragons and Cicadas: The Society On Da Run Omnibus Vol 1

And, if you LOVE Science Fiction, I highly reccommend Platinum Pohl. It's a unique collection of Sci Fi-ish stories and a few Fantasy stories. My favorite story in there is The Day the Martians Came:

Platinum Pohl: The Collected Best Stories (Tom Doherty Associates Books)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2012 8:27:46 PM PST
Steve says:
I'll toss in my $20 and hope I don't wear out my welcome. Caveat: I like, but am not limited to fiction on the experimental, fantastic side. Also please check out works in translation, which I predict will be well-represented here.
To start I'll second Lahiri, Boyle, Wells Tower, Nathan Englander. Well-known classics can still be subjective, but I'll stay away from Chekhov, Gogol, etc. I assume the Hemingway mentioned previously is a "well-known classic".
Samuel Beckett - More Pricks Than Kicks (or Complete Short Prose, or volume IV of the Centenary set), which reminds me of
Robert Coover - Pricksongs & Descants, which for some reason reminds me of
John Collier - Fancies and Goodnights
Borges is a must, as he was all about the short story. He has at least six collections, as well as at least three in collaboration with Bioy-Casares. Ficciones or Labyrinths to start, or Collected Fictions gets you most everything. Borges also edited an anthology - The Book of Fantasy (not single author, but still...)
Which brings us to Calvino. Complete Cosmicomics is a winner, encompassing Cosmicomics and t-Zero as well as a few other stories. Italian Folktales is very good, but different than what we're used to from Calvino. He also edited an anthology - Fantastic Tales: Visionary and Everyday.
Julio Cortazar is fantastic. End of The Game (now out as Blow Up and Other Stories), All Fires the Fire, A Certain Lucas, many other collections.
Machado de Assis - The Devil's Church among others.
Felisberto Hernandez - Lands of Memory
Percival Everett - Damned If I Do. Heard "The Fix" on NPR's Selected Shorts and had to get this.
Bertrand Russell - Satan in The Suburbs and Nightmares of Eminent Persons, or both collected in one volume.
Ryunosuke Akutagawa - Rashomon or The Beautiful and The Grotesque
Jim Crace - The Devil's Larder
Julian Barnes - The Lemon Table
Englander was mentioned as having a Jewish bent of course, and while I am not Jewish I do like Isaac Babel (The Complete Works), S. Y. Agnon (A Book That Was Lost), Cynthia Ozick (Collected Stories, or Pagan Rabbi), Isaac Bashevis Singer (Library of America just released his Collected Stories in three volumes, yes!), Saul Bellow (Collected Stories), Bernard Malamud (Complete Stories or at least The Magic Barrel)...
Salman Rushdie - East, West
Terrence Holt - In The Valley Of The Kings
Roald Dahl (of course!) - Switch Bitch, Kiss Kiss, Someone Like You, Skin - there's an omnibus that covers a lot of this.
Terry Southern - Red Dirt Marijuana
Random brain dump (as much of this is) of authors with many collections worth checking out: Stephen Dixon, Steven Millhauser, Madison Smartt Bell, Richard Bausch, Reynolds Price, Martin Amis, Frederic Busch
Bertolt Brecht has a collection of short stories - Short Stories 1921-1946. Couldn't pass this up!
Wolfgang Hildesheimer - Collected Stories
Robert Walser - Selected Stories
George P. Elliott (not George Elliott!) - An Hour of Last Things and Among The Dangs
Boris Vian - Blues for a Black Cat
Aleksandar Hemon - The Question of Bruno
Luigi Pirandello - any collection with Short Stories in the title...
have to mention Nabokov (The Stories Of is I think complete, but like many of these complete collections, the earlier smaller collections probably hang together better).
Gabriel Marquez - Collected Stories
Neil Gaiman - Fragile Things as well as Smoke and Mirrors
Alasdair Gray - Unlikely Stories, Mostly and The Ends of Our Tethers and Ten Tales, Tall and True and...
Bulgakov - Diaboliad was just reissued which I was glad to see.
Denis Johnson - Jesus' Son
Thom Jones - Pugilist At Rest
Paul Bowles (if I were listing in order this would be in the top few) - there are many collections, but The Stories Of covers most of them.
There are good collections by Primo Levi, Heinrich Boll,
John Barth - Lost in The Funhouse
Kurt Vonnegut ! - Welcome to The Monkey House, and just recently While Mortals Sleep
Jim Shepard - You Think That's Bad
Deborah Eisenberg has at my last count four collections, start with Twilight of the Superheroes and work your way back or Collected Stories.
Yevgeny Zamyatin - The Dragon
Juan Rulfo - The Burning Plain
Eugene Ionesco - The Colonel's Photograph
Kobo Abe - Beyond the Curve
Hermann Hesse - The Fairy Tales of
Gert Hofmann - Balzac's Horse
Horacio Quiroga - The Decapitated Chicken
Geza Csath - The Magician's Garden
Random authors with collections: Par Lagerkvist, Cunninghame Graham, Miguel de Unamuno, Richard Brautigan
Bruno Schulz is terrific! Street of Crocodiles, Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass.
William Vollmann - Thirteen Stories and Thirteen Epitaphs
John Updike has many collections, some which could be considered good-to-great.
J.G. Ballard - Best Short Stories, or the gargantuan Complete Stories
Anthony Burgess - The Devil's Mode
Sylvia Plath - Johnny Panic (is it "really great"? probably not)
Max Apple - The Oranging of America
Donald Barthelme - Sixty Stories, Forty Stories, the collections from which these are compiled...

I could go on, I've got to stop, but

KAFKA! The Complete Stories, or Twisted Spoon released three small collections which were the three collections released while he was alive.

Good luck.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2012 9:35:48 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 15, 2012 11:45:56 PM PST
Steve says:
I ran my battery out, and you probably ran out of patience, but "how could I forget":
Gustav Meyrink - Opal
Doris Lessing - To Room Nineteen and The Temptation of Jack Orkney
Goethe - Tales for Transformation
Mircea Eliade has some interesting collections I consider very good - Mystic Stories (this might be hard to get, but there's probably enough other stuff out there so who cares. If only someone would come up with a big list of short story collections.)
Harry Mathews - The Human Country

Filed under Sci Fi, but really great (it's all opinion):
Stanislaw Lem - many collections, like Star Diaries, Cyberiad, Return from the Stars, Tales of Pirx the Pilot.
Phil Dick, several collections.

And seriously, that's where I'll stop as my memory is failing me. The list is truly random and not at all ranked by what I thought was best. Are all these "really great"? Probably no one will think they all are, many are arguable one way or the other, many pale by comparison to other collections or to other novels by the same author, but I think they are all worth reading if you're omnivorous.

A few on my current to-read pile, so the jury's out but I have high hopes:
Gustaw Herling - The Noonday Cemetery
Massimo Bontempelli - The Faithful Lover
Thomas Bernhard - The Voice Imitator
Carlos Fuentes - Constancia and Burnt Water
Leo Perutz - By Night Under the Stone Bridge
Wolfgang Borchert - The Sad Geraniums
Ivan Klima - Lovers for a Day
Kevin Brockmeier - Things That Fall from the Sky
Tommaso Landolfi - Gogols Wife
Patrick Suskind - Three Stories and a Reflection
James Lasdun - Delirium Eclipse
Michael Chabon - A Model World
Jonathan Lethem - The Wall of the Sky, The Wall of the Eye

Not counting the lengthy list of known books left to beg, borrow or steal, or the hundreds(+?) I have yet to discover. Hey, let's talk novellas next and then novels!

Posted on Feb 16, 2012 10:21:36 AM PST
R. Davis says:
Here's a newly published collection - You Never Die In Wholes and Other Stories. I've only read the first few stories so far, but I'm impressed.

Posted on Feb 16, 2012 3:15:26 PM PST
F. Roser says:
You could while away a lifetime engrossed in the nuances of these stories.

Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesen
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Posted on Feb 17, 2012 7:05:58 AM PST
Hugo Melo says:
I would suggest Kafka, Dino Buzzatti, Jorge Luis Borges, Flannery o'Connor, Zoran Zyvkovic, Nikolai Gogol. I f you like ghost stories check out M.R. James, Sheridan LeFanu, Oliver Onions and Algeron Blackwood.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 9:34:39 AM PST
Far Lefkas says:
One of Borges's scariest stories is "The Gospel According to Mark": seriously Hitchcockian. It's in a collection called Doctor Brodie's Report.

Posted on Feb 20, 2012 6:54:12 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Feb 20, 2012 6:55:34 AM PST]

Posted on Feb 23, 2012 8:40:30 AM PST
Try Michelle Richmond's GIRL IN THE FALL AWAY DRESS. I think it's only available as an ebook. Originally pubbed by UMass Press. Beautiful stories. Can't rec it highly enough.
She also write the bestseller, YEAR OF FOG

Posted on Feb 25, 2012 12:28:45 AM PST
Wehrly says:
Stories by the excellent Australian author David Malouf.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2012 9:12:34 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 26, 2012 9:13:29 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2012 12:25:05 PM PST
I agree: Alice Munro is my personal writing hero. (she has no idea)

her characterization is just stunning.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 16, 2012 3:10:49 PM PDT
My Hometown Named Love
Hi, my short story collection My Hometown Named Love was just published as an e-book. The stories are more of melancholic literary side than anywhere near pink bubble romance. Hoping you find them worth looking at. Thanks. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 16, 2012 4:22:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 16, 2012 4:59:37 PM PDT
Mark says:
You can't go wrong with anything by Tobias Wolff or Denis Johnson. Some one mentioned Alice Munro and Jhumpa Lahiri - tons of great stories from both.

If you haven't read Breece D'J Pancake you should - nothing new from him, he killed himself in 1979 but what great stories.

Also if you have a kindle try The Location of the Garden of Eden: Where your treasure is ... you can't beat the price for the next two days.

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Discussion in:  Literary Fiction forum
Participants:  44
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Initial post:  Jan 30, 2012
Latest post:  May 2, 2012

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