Five incredible short story collections

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

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

Swimmer Among the Stars

Book cover for 9781509822218

Furiously inventive, beautifully crafted short stories from a strikingly original new Indian 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.

'With nobody to speak her language to, she began talking with objects, the pots and pans, a creaking door, the sharp corner of a table.’

The Fat Artist and Other Stories

by Benjamin Hale

Book cover for 9781509830312

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.

'Don't Worry Baby' tells the story of 1960s political radicals on the run from the law and a flight that descends into the worst of trips, in both senses of the word.

‘When they became outlaws they gave themselves new names.’


by Gerard Woodward

Book cover for 9781447288695

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 9781447299394

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.

''Sorry’ Doesn’t Sweeten Her Tea' invites us into a 'house of locks' where doors can be closed only with a key.

'Boudicca doesn’t care how big or pretty her fellow fish are; if they come to her manor she will obliterate them.'

Beneath the Bonfire

by Nickolas Butler

Book cover for 9781447238232

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.'