NOº 5670

Desert Island Five: Short-Story Collections


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. Continue reading