Best Short StoriesThe best short stories
10 Top 10 Modern Short Stories | Journals
I was reading the contributions to this year's BBC National Short Stories Award this past summers and was discussing with my colleagues the tiresome issue of how the "best" could be located. It was both a joy and a serious challenge: the shape of the tale is so extensive and varied that we sometimes compared or at least looked at an unknown piece of fruits and argued about whether to call them an apple or a bulb.
They can judge our selection after the announcement of the short-list on Friday night on BBC Radio 4. I just choose 10 stories from this centuries I have been reading and I think they do something interesting or exciting or just faint with the shape of the short novel.
Click ing on the title to get to the stories even if you haven't already seen them. Rachel B Glaser's Pee on WaterThis was my own highlight in the already very powerful New America Stories, published by Ben Marcus. I am more and more attracted to every narrative that has a greater meaning for the possibilities of a narrative than the "snapshot of life" demanded by the Carver/Hemingway-Schule.
It starts at the crack of dawn and ends about now, which I think is big enough for everyone. Then, later, His Spirit of Sarah HallThat does one of my favorite things in a story: something you didn't expect. It' s an Apokalypse thing that we seem to have had many of lately and for which I'm quite a jerk, but it's a completely different and new kind of Apokalypse where a blustering breeze tears everything out of the floor.
Kevin BarryBarry's Fjord of Killary is great at quickly pulling you into the trust of his vocal; the first few lines of one of his stories have the qualities to take you along for the trip. GappahFive's news of her passing by Pettina GappahFive is that the ladies speak in a hairdresser's while one of them has her plaits made: "This is all the storytelling texture Gappah needs to create a sophisticated societal environment in which she tells the stories of these ladies through perfect dialogues and finely tuned detail.
There is a brilliant use of the recurrent chorus "Friendliness is late", and the whole thing makes it quite clear that there is always a politics to it. The tale of a raid, which begins violently before ending in a conversation about soccer and an elevator to home, is narrated in a rattling, languishing and anecdotic sound, which fascinates you and makes you disagreeable.
Hassan Blasim's The Green Zone Rabbit, translates by Jonathan WrightThis tale from The Iraqi Christ, released by the award-winning Comma Press, is alternately frightening and beautifully mundane. Nicole FlatteryThis recently won the White Review Short Stories Award, and it's not difficult to understand why. Claire-Louise BennettI's Endishing Touch could have selected any of the stories from Bennett's Pond line of debuts - and I would even strongly encourage you to look at the entire line as its total is exceptionally large.
He continues with the peculiar and unrelenting qualities of a fantasy or tale, while it is almost morbid in his realisticism, and feelings as if Antrim had written history all his scare. National Short Stories Prize will be published on October 3 in the Front of BBC Radio 4.
Reservoir Tapes, a special commission of 15 prequels, will be on BBC Radio 4 every Sunday at 7.45 pm from 1 October.