May is Short Stories Month so why not dive into some newly released short fiction. The following is just a sampling of the short story collections released in 2014 available at OPL. All summaries are from the publisher's descriptions.
The Frangipani Hotel : stories / Violet Kupersmith
Based on traditional Vietnamese folk tales told to Kupersmith by her grandmother, these fantastical, chilling, and thoroughly contemporary stories asre a boldly original exploration of Vietnamese culture, addressing both the immigrant experience and the lives of those who remained behind. Lurking in the background of them all is a larger ghost--that of the Vietnam War, whose legacy continues to haunt us.
Thunderstruck & other stories / by Elizabeth McCracken
In McCracken's universe, heartache is always interwoven with strange, charmed moments of joy--an unexpected conversation with small children, the gift of a parrot with a bad French accent--that remind us of the wonder and mystery of being alive.
Boy in the twilight : stories of the hidden China / Yu Hua ; translated from the Chinese by Allan H. Barr
In the title story, a shopkeeper confronts a child thief and punishes him without mercy. "Victory" shows a young couple shaken by the husband's infidelity, scrambling to stake claims to the components of their shared life. Other tales show, by turns, two poor factory workers who spoil their only son, a gang of peasants who bully the village orphan, and a spectacular fistfight outside a refinery bathhouse. With sharp language and a keen eye, Yu Hua explores the line between cruelty and warmth on which modern China is--precariously, joyfully--balanced.
Redeployment / Phil Klay
Phil Klay takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned.
Can't and won't / stories / Lydia Davis
Her stories may be literal one-liners or they may be lengthier investigations of the havoc wreaked by the most mundane disruptions to routine. The stories may appear in the form of letters of complaint; they may be extracted from Flaubert's correspondence; or they may be inspired by the author's own dreams, or the dreams of friends. What does not vary throughout this collection is the power of Davis' finely honed prose.
Problems with people : stories / David Guterson
These stories are shot throughout with tragedy--a long-ago loss of a young boyfriend, a son's death at sea; poignant reflections upon cultural and personal circumstances--whether it is being Jewish, overweight and single, or a tourist in a history-haunted land.
Bombay stories / Saadat Hasan Manto ; translated by Matt Reeck and Aftab Ahmad
A journalist, screenwriter, and editor, Manto is best known as a master of the short story, and Bombay was his lifelong muse. Vividly bringing to life the city's seedy underbelly--the prostitutes, pimps, and gangsters that filled its streets--as well as the aspiring writers and actors who arrived looking for fame, here are all of Manto's Bombay-based stories, together in English for the very first time.
American innovations : stories / Rivka Galchen
The tales in this groundbreaking collection are secretly in conversation with canonical stories, reimagined from the perspective of female characters.
The cost of lunch, etc. : short stories / Marge Piercy
From the first-person account of hoarding and a girl's narrative of sexual and spiritual discovery to the recounting of a past love affair, each story in this collection is a tangible, vivid snapshot in a varied and subtly curated gallery of work.
The Unamericans : stories / Molly Antopol
Antopol's deeply sympathetic characters struggle for footing in an uncertain world, hounded by forces beyond their control. Their voices are intimate and powerful and they resonate with searing beauty.
One more thing : stories and other stories / B.J. Novak
Finding inspiration in questions from the nature of perfection to the icing on carrot cake, this collection has at its heart the most human of phenomena: love, fear, hope, ambition, and the inner stirring for the one elusive element that just might make a person complete.
Small plates : short fiction / Katherine Hall Page
This collections includes some irresistible standalone treats, including the Agatha Award-winning "The Would-Be Widower," about a husband who longs to be rid of his wife, and "Hiding Places" in which a young wife's new husband may not be all that he appears.