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Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories from Around the World Paperback – April 13, 2015
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“Flash Fiction International reminds me that the world is so very small and fragile . . . and yet contains an animal as muscular and fast as this wild horse of a book.”
- Claudia Smith, American Book Review
“Flash fiction―short, short stories only several hundred words in length―is celebrated as an international phenomenon in this exceptional anthology. . . . Natasza Goerke, in ‘Stories,’ may as well be describing this entire collection when she writes, ‘The stories are short, but concise. . . . The final sentence is contained in the first.’”
- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“These sometimes brilliant, often cunning, always intriguing very short stories fit the moment, the Internet, the world we live in now. A stunning flock of lovely and compelling pieces by wonderful writers from all over the world…it’s a remarkable and remarkably readable collection.”
- Frederick Barthelme, editor of New World Writing
“One of the most striking things this collection shows is how flash fiction can allow what has been suppressed to find a voice…to introduce readers to voices they may never have heard, and show that this penetrating form has found a niche nearly everywhere.”
- The Economist (UK)
“Like the most diligent of cultural anthropologists, the editors of Flash Fiction International have sifted through centuries of micro art to record and then exhibit these enduring small stories, common in their humanity but culturally distinct in their presentations. This anthology is a gift to the literary community, an important contribution to the understanding of the flash species in all its variegated forms.”
- Tara L. Masih, editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction
“These bursts of illumination, some less than a page long―evoking shock, wonder, laughter, all with a tantalizing sense of completion―establish flash fiction on a global scale. An incomparable set of stories, this book is a new landmark anthology for the very short story form.”
- Jane Ciabattari, BBC book columnist
“It takes a big map of the world, a pushpin stuck in place for each short short story, to appreciate the dazzling scope of Flash Fiction International.”
- Pamela Painter, author of Wouldn’t You Like to Know?
“In our demanding world, practical time for reading is limited, not so the time for imagining. If you care to read along, you may do so at random, responding to serendipity―always rewarding―or you may flow with these anthologists’ brilliant organization, which offers you a kaleidoscopic universe in evolution, revealing both the visible and the invisible, the macro hidden in the micro.”
- Luisa Valenzuela, author of Symmetries
About the Author
James Thomas has received two NEA grants and a Stegner Fellowship; he lives in Xenia, Ohio.
Robert Shapard directed the University of Hawaii MFA program and now lives in Austin, Texas.
Christopher Merrill directs the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.
Top customer reviews
The thing I like most about an anthology like this is its invitation to read it differently. It’s an intrinsic part of the flash form, really. Since so many of the stories are akin to poems in their length, I found myself picking up the book and turning to a random page to read—a dashing flash style of reading that allowed for a more exploratory and less linear approach.
After reading so many shorts and pondering the form’s geographical significance and historical origins, it was nice to be treated to the “Flash Theory” section at the end—a compilation of quotes from flash authors. It was the perfect way to ruminate on all of the stories, to keep the conversation going.
I especially liked Joyce Carol Oates’ words: “Very short fictions are nearly always experimental, exquisitely calibrated, reminiscent of Frost’s definition of a poem—a structure of words that consumes itself as it unfolds, like ice melting on a stove …” That’s what I shoot for when I write a miniature.