shining the spotlight on short story collections
In today’s Independent newspaper, in an article entitled “Short-haul fiction, long-term benefits”, Boyd Tonkin says:
Here’s a star-spangled shortlist of leading writers who have published, or soon will publish, works of fiction since the last Man Booker contest: Kazuo Ishiguro, AL Kennedy, Ali Smith, Will Self, Chimamanda Adichie, Alice Munro. None of them could have featured on this week’s long-list. Of course, the final name gives the game away. Canada’s doyenne of the story that packs an entire life, and world, into 20 pages might already have won the Man Booker International Prize for career achievement. But the annual competition still shuns volumes of short fiction. Which means as well that first-rank debut collections, such as (this year) Daniyal Mueenuddin’s In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, never stand a fighting chance. Should that rule now change?
Yes, Boyd, yes! He says:
In the Manchester-based Comma Press and Salt Publishing in Cambridgeshire, Britain has two high-performing specialist imprints with a robust commitment to the briefer forms.
These two publishers are the ones publishing many of the short story collections we have reviewed.
Oh, Boyd! Sending much love to the Indy today. I will leave you with his parting shot:
“The only rule is to write originally and well – whether the result takes two, five or twenty thousand words.”
Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes. Read the full article here.