Short and Sweet: Stories to Savor while Social Distancing

As is the case for most folks these days, I am spending a lot of time alone. Under normal circumstances this would be the perfect time to tackle my to-be-read pile, but between phone and video catch-ups with friends and family and a seemingly endless amount of news to absorb, I’ve been finding it difficult to fully immerse myself in novels.

If like me you find yourself simultaneously sheltered in place but short on attention, it might be time to check out some short story collections. From standby classic authors to exciting contemporary voices, there’s enough here to give you a temporary break from current events, or at the very least, from social media.

Here Until August by Josephine Rowe
Rowe pulls unexpected emotional punches, delivered in turns of phrase so stunning I actually had to pause several times just to marvel at the way she put everything together. The stories will take you around the globe and deep into the complicated inner worlds of her characters.

If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi by Neel Patel
Love and loss are the guideposts of Patel’s keenly observant collection that focuses on Indian-Americans. I had heard good things about his writing but only recently got around to checking it out. Needless to say, I’ll be checking out his next collection as soon as it arrives.

Full Throttle by Joe Hill
Top-notch thrills from an author who deserves to be recognized widely (and not just because of his famous author father).

That Time I Loved You by Carrianne Leung
Leung writes interconnected stories set in 1970s suburban Toronto that shine light on unspoken trauma and racism. There is a subtle power to Leung’s sensitive and empathetic writing.

The World Doesn’t Require You by Rion Amilcar Scott
Set in the same fictional Maryland town as his strong debut collection Insurrections, Scott’s surreal, genre-bending stories are difficult to pin down but absolutely should not be missed.

In addition to these newer works, be sure to check out (or revisit) some noteworthy collections from quintessential authors of the past:

Evening in Paradise by Lucia Berlin
Family Furnishings by Alice Munro
Carson McCullers: Stories by Carson McCullers

~posted by Eric G.

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