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.
So, are you a fan of the vistas of the novel, or the playground of the short story?
I prefer novels, but I’ve been reading more short stories and novellas lately.
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.
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.
I’ve always been a fan of short stories & really enjoy anthologies. I help read through the slush for Gargoyle http://www.gargoylemagazine.com/ 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!
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.
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.