Five incredible short story collections

Some of the most exciting, inventive and beautifully crafted short story collections of recent times.

We've brought together some of the most exciting, inventive and beautifully crafted short story collections of recent times.

Swimmer Among the Stars

by Kanishk Tharoor

Book cover for Swimmer Among the Stars

Furiously inventive, beautifully crafted short stories from a strikingly original voice. The stories in this collection reveal an extraordinary young storyteller, whose tales of lonely elephants, fabled cooks and doomed villages emerge from a tradition that includes Italo Calvino, Jorge Luis Borges and Angela Carter.

The story from which the collection takes its name takes the form of an interview with the last speaker of a language.

The Fat Artist and Other Stories

by Benjamin Hale

Book cover for The Fat Artist and Other Stories

Benjamin Hale's fiction abounds with a love of language and a wild joy for storytelling. Occasionally nightmarish and often absurd, the seven stories in this collection introduce us to a company of indelible characters reeling with love, jealousy, megalomania, and despair. 


by Gerard Woodward

Book cover for Legoland

Many of Legoland's fifteen stories begin with Gerard Woodward's sharp and unflinching eye alighting upon an apparently everyday detail or situation, but then a sudden twist takes them to an unsettling place where life's normal rules no longer apply. In Woodward's brilliant story 'The Family Whistle', shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, a woman's husband returns home from war, only to discover his wife thinks he's been back for years because another man has already claimed his place. ‘What’s wrong, Florian? Don’t you recognize your own husband?’

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours

by Helen Oyeyemi

Book cover for What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours

The stories collected in What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours are linked by more than the exquisitely winding prose of their creator: Helen Oyeyemi's ensemble cast of characters slip from the pages of their own stories only to surface in another. The reader is invited into a world of lost libraries and locked gardens, of marshlands where the drowned dead live and a city where all the clocks have stopped; students hone their skills at puppet school, the Homely Wench Society commits a guerrilla book-swap, and lovers exchange books and roses on St Jordi's Day.

Beneath the Bonfire

by Nickolas Butler

Book cover for Beneath the Bonfire

In these ten stories, Nickolas Butler demonstrates his talent for portraying a place and its people with unparalleled tenderness, evoking an American landscape that will be instantly recognizable to readers enchanted by his debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs.

In 'Rainwater' a grandfather raises his grandson after his mother disappears without a trace.

'He drank the remainder of the rainwater and began rocking them with more vigor. He hugged the child fiercely, felt his own lips meeting the top of the boy’s head.'