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If I were stranded on a desert island, I’d need these five short-story collections to keep me company:
- No One Belongs Here More Than You, Miranda July
- Self-Help, Lorrie Moore
- The Best American Short Stories: 1991, Alice Adams, ed.
- Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri
- Nine Stories, J. D. Salinger
Allow me to begin by offering up something that may be obvious: a novel is a story but a story isn’t necessarily a novel. Voltaire (or somebody) is supposed to have written to a friend, “Forgive the long letter; I didn’t have time to write a short one.” The compression of a short story requires discipline, patience, and above all time. What you decide to leave out is often so much more important than what you keep. (more…)