Sometimes I find I don't have the attention to read a novel or am craving the satisfaction of reading a complete piece in a single sitting. These are the times when I turn to short story collections. May is Short Story Month so I thought I'd highlight some of the exciting short story collections realeased so far in 2019.
All descriptions are providing by the publishers.
Elsewhere, home / Leila Aboulela
In her new collection of stories, award-winning New York Times Notable author Leila Aboulela offers us a rich tableau of life as an immigrant abroad, and the challenges of navigating assimilation and difference.
Dawn : stories / Selahattin Demirtas ; translated from the Turkish by Amy Marie Spangler & Kate Ferguson
Selahattin Demirtaş’s arresting stories capture the voices of ordinary people living through extraordinary times. A cleaning lady is caught up in a violent demonstration on her way to work. A five-year-old girl attempts to escape war-torn Syria with her mother by boat. A suicide bombing shatters a neighborhood in Aleppo. And in the powerful story, 'Seher', a young factory worker is robbed of her dreams in an unimaginable act of violence.
Sabrina & Corina : stories / by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s magnetic story collection breathes life into her Latina characters of indigenous ancestry and the land they inhabit in the American West. Against the remarkable backdrop of Denver, Colorado—a place that is as fierce as it is exquisite—these women navigate the land the way they navigate their lives: with caution, grace, and quiet force.
Broken stars / translated and edited by Ken Liu
The stories in this collection evoke every hue on the emotional spectrum. Besides stories firmly entrenched in subgenres familiar to Western SFF readers such as hard SF, cyberpunk, science fantasy, and space opera, the anthology also includes stories that showcase deeper ties to Chinese culture: alternate Chinese history, chuanyue time travel, satire with historical and contemporary allusions that are likely unknown to the average Western reader. While the anthology makes no claim or attempt to be "representative" or “comprehensive," it demonstrates the vibrancy and diversity of science fiction being written in China at this moment.
A people's future of the United States : speculative fiction from 25 extraordinary writers / edited by Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams
In these tumultuous times, in our deeply divided country, many people are angry, frightened, and hurting. Knowing that imagining a brighter tomorrow has always been an act of resistance, editors Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams invited an extraordinarily talented group of writers to share stories that explore new forms of freedom, love, and justice. They asked for narratives that would challenge oppressive American myths, release us from the chokehold of our history, and give us new futures to believe in.
Living on the borderlines / by Melissa Michal
For the loosely connected Seneca community members living in Upstate New York, intergenerational memory slips into everyday life: a teenager struggles to understand her grandmother's silences, a family seeks to reconnect with a lost sibling, and a young woman searches for a cave that's called to her family for generations. With these stories, debut writer Melissa Michal weaves together an understated and contemplative collection exploring what it means to be Native.
Flowers of mold : stories / Ha Seong-nan ; translated from the Korean by Janet Hong
In ten captivating, unnerving stories, Flowers of Mold presents a range of ordinary individuals―male and female, young and old―who have found themselves left behind by an increasingly urbanized and fragmented world. The latest in the trend of brilliant female Korean authors to appear in English, Ha cuts like a surgeon, and even the most mundane objects become menacing and unfamiliar under her scalpel.
Arid dreams : stories / Duanwad Pimwana ; translated from the Thai by Mui Poopoksakul
In thirteen stories that investigate ordinary and working-class Thailand, characters aspire for more but remain suspended in routine. They bide their time, waiting for an extraordinary event to end their stasis. A politician's wife imagines her life had her husband's accident been fatal, a man on death row requests that a friend clear up a misunderstanding with a sex worker, and an elevator attendant feels himself wasting away while trapped, immobile, at his station all day. With curious wit, this collection offers revelatory insight, subtle critique, and an exploration of class, gender, and disenchantment in a changing country.
Mouthful of birds : stories / Samanta Schweblin ; translated by Megan McDowell
Samanta Schweblin haunts and mesmerizes in this extraordinary collection featuring women on the edge, men turned upside down, the natural world at odds with reality. We think life is one way, but often, it's not -- our expectations for how people act, love, fear can all be upended. Each character in Mouthful of Birds must contend with the unexpected, whether a family coming apart at the seams or a child transforming or a ghostly hellscape or a murder.
New suns : original speculative fiction by people of color / edited by Nisi Shawl
New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color showcases emerging and seasoned writers of many races telling stories filled with shocking delights, powerful visions of the familiar made strange. Between this book’s covers burn tales of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and their indefinable overlappings. These are authors aware of our many possible pasts and futures, authors freed of stereotypes and clichés, ready to dazzle you with their daring genius.
Minutes of glory, and other stories / Ngũgĩ wa Thiongʼo
Covering the period of British colonial rule and resistance in Kenya to the bittersweet experience of independence—and including two stories that have never before been published in the United States— Ngũgĩ’s collection features women fighting for their space in a patriarchal society, big men in their Bentleys who have inherited power from the British, and rebels who still embody the fighting spirit of the downtrodden. One of Ngũgĩ’s most beloved stories, “Minutes of Glory,” tells of Beatrice, a sad but ambitious waitress who fantasizes about being feted and lauded over by the middle-class clientele in the city’s beer halls. Her dream leads her on a witty and heartbreaking adventure. Published for the first time in America, Minutes of Glory and Other Stories is a major literary event that celebrates the storytelling might of one of Africa’s best-loved writers.