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George Saunders on Short Stories

By 09/02/2013writing

I love that a short story collection is topping bestseller lists. I’ve often worried about the short story, as have others. But after the success of Junot Diaz last year, George Saunders has recently emerged as not only a critical but also a commercial success.

From an article in the LA Times:

 “George Saunders‘ short story collection “Tenth of December” is receiving high praise, and topping bestseller lists. That’s despite the fact that according to most everyone in publishing, short story collections don’t sell.”

I loved Saunders’ interview, and it is well worth a listen if you have the time.

Short stories or Novel?

Short stories or Novel?

So, are you a fan of the vistas of the novel, or the playground of the short story?

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • I prefer novels, but I’ve been reading more short stories and novellas lately.

  • Arlee Bird says:

    It’s kind of weird. When I was in high school I was a big short story fan and bought many collections of them. Then after college I mostly stopped reading them unless they were in a magazine I was reading to kill time. Now I mostly read novels when I read and I don’t read often enough.

  • tadethompson says:

    I think there’s room for both. I read short stories when I want a quick fiction fix, like a tequila shot. I read novels when I want sit-down, gourmet-style ingestion.

  • Kristy says:

    I’ve always been a fan of short stories & really enjoy anthologies. I help read through the slush for Gargoyle where you’ll find an amazing collection of short stories (nonfiction and fiction) and poems. I also prefer writing short stories over novels due to my limited attention span!

  • kayemofnmy says:

    I’d prefer to pick up an anthology of short stories written by many authors, unless the book comes highly recommended like the one by George Saunders.

  • I love the short story that i can read and process with me throughout the day – almost like a thought for the day.

  • Not a fan of the really long novels. Most books over 150,000 words could be shorter anyway.

  • indytony says:

    Back in my younger days (before Al Gore invented the Internet), I was a big fan a monumental novels. Crime and Punishment. Don Quixote. The Magic Mountain. Now, I much prefer the short stories of Flannery O’Connor.

    I don’t know if my attention span has just gotten shorter or my aesthetic taste has changed.