Tag: short stories

Zadie Smith to Release First Book of Short Stories in 2019

October 3rd, 2019 is when Zadie Smith will be publishing her first collection of short stories with Hamish Hamilton entitled, Grand Union. 


Image Via Thebookseller.com


“Her very best, drawn from two decades of remarkable short fiction,” the publisher said.


The collection will contain ten new stories. Hamish Hamilton’s publishing director, Simon Prosser shared the book cover of Smith’s new book designed by Jonathan Gray.


Featured Image Via Nytimes.com (Photo: Jackie Nickerson)
short story collections

5 Brilliant New Short Story Collections You Can’t Miss Out On

Tragedy plus time apparently equals literature. As far as years go, 2017-2018 has been an intense one. These authors have responded with wit, creativity, and some impressively bizarre concepts that comment upon both the new and timeless topography of our psychological landscapes. Here are 5 acclaimed short story collections as weird, wild, and jarringly human as the past year has been.


1. Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado


'Her Body and Other Parties' by Carmen Maria Machado

Image Via target.com


The winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction, Carmen Maria Machado‘s Her Body and Other Parties is “sexy, queer, and caustic.” Swinging wildly upon the axis of brutality and sentimentality, Machado’s work is a real genre-bender, less wading into the territory of magical realism and more stomping headstrong through it. In Machado’s striking collection, there are many inventive cultural references, including a supernatural interpretation of Law and Order: SVU and a literary reimagining of the infamous girl with the green ribbon story. But Machado’s work also delves deeply into the human (and specifically female) psyche, her stories always as inventive as they are visceral.


2. [Dis]connected (2018)


'[Dis]connected' by various authors

Image Via amazon.com


A timely commentary on social media, art, and interpersonal relationships, this multimedia collection from some of the most famous Instagram poets (including Nikita Gill and Trista Mateer) insightfully tackles both the isolation and accessibility that the Internet can provide. The collection maintains its commitment to accessibility by incorporating the work of established writers (like Amanda Lovelace, author of The Princess Saves Herself in This One) with the work of up-and-coming contributors (like Sara Bond). Even the creation of [Dis]connected follows an inventive format: each writer contributed three poems and then assigned poems to their fellow writers. Each contributor then wrote a short story based on one of their assigned poems. The result? A vivid and unique exploration of love and loneliness.


3. Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh


'Homesick for Another World' by Ottessa Moshfegh

Image Via amazon.com



2016 Man Booker Prize nominee Ottessa Moshfegh has done it again… and again and again. Released in between her Booker-nominated novel Eileen and her phantasmagorical 2018 bestseller My Year of Rest and RelaxationMoshfegh’s short story collection Homesick for Another World is a twisted standout. A master of the grotesque and delightful, Moshfegh finds tenderness in the dire landscape of her subject matter: always the fringes of society. To read her work is to “touch a slightly electrified fence.” Featuring vomit, unfortunate neck tattoos, and thrice-daily Burger King meals, Homesick for Another World is as stunning as it is strange.



4. Florida by Lauren Groff


'Florida' by Lauren Groff

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A favorite author of Barack Obama, Guggenheim fellow Lauren Groff blends domesticity and wildness in Florida, her recent short story collection that inhabits “an eden of dangerous things.” A 2018 Book Award Finalist, Florida depicts a place that is less a physical location and more a mood—sometimes a very dark one. Exploring the geographic and psychological landscape of Florida across different towns and even centuries, Florida explores “the moments and decisions and connections behind human pleasure and pain, hope and despair, love and fury—the moments that make us alive.” Beautifully weird and occasionally alarming, Groff’s work is a smash hit for the year.


5. Some Trick (2018)


'Some Trick' by Helen DeWitt

Image Via goodreads.com



The eccentric genius archetype—the exaggerated trope of a person who would just as likely disassemble their own household appliances for fun as write a novel—has met its match in Helen DeWitt. A mathematician and linguist (by the way, we’re talking fourteen languages), DeWitt’s hit debut, The Last Samurai, is only one of three works she’s published in the last twenty years, thanks to her distaste for the publishing industry. (Her second novel, Lightning Rods, is a brilliant, weird, and brilliantly weird satire on American capitalism.) Her third work, collection Some Trick, uses the “iron logic of a crazy person” to chip at the barrier between the private intellectual world of the individual and the social machinery of capitalism.




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The Birds

5 Terrifying Movies Based on Even Scarier Short Stories

Can a short story really be scary enough to inspire two hours of terror? The answer is a resounding YES. These short stories might be small in size, but they’ve made it to the big screen. From the earliest days of silent film up into the present, here are five full-length horror movies inspired by famously spooky short stories.


1. The Avenging Conscience (1914)


Still from D.W. Griffith's film 'The Avenging Conscience'

Image via youtube.com


This early silent horror film draws inspiration from Edgar Allen Poe‘s famous short story, “The Tell-Tale Heart.” In the film, a young man in love plots the murder of an uncle who stands in the way of his would-be marriage. As in Poe’s story, the guilt comes with some nasty side effects… mysterious noises, strange apparitions… but are these just the unfortunate dreams of a troubled conscience, or is something else really going on?


2. The Body Snatcher (1945)


Original poster for Robert Wise's 'The Body Snatcher'

Image via poster-rama.com


Robert Wise’s film, famously starring cultural icon Bela Lugosi, shares its name with its source of inspiration: Robert Louis Stevenson‘s The Body Snatcher. Stevenson authored many prolific works that brought him fame in his lifetime, including Treasure Island and Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  And while Stevenson’s story inspired director Wise, real events inspired Stevenson.  The true source material of “The Body Snatcher” is the gruesome tale of murderous surgeon Robert Knox. Until the Anatomy Act of 1832, the only bodies permitted for scientific research were those of criminals the courts condemned to death and dissection. It was common to snatch bodies of the recently deceased (from houses or graves!) in order to keep up a fresh supply of corpses. Knox took it a step further, hiring thugs to murder the homeless and wayward drunks. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself…?


3. The Birds (1963)


Still from Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Birds'

Image via moma.org


The name The Birds is immediately identifiable as a Hitchcock film, one of the most classic and widely-known thrillers. Fewer people know the film draws upon a horror novelette of the same name: “The Birds” by Daphne du Maurier, which first appeared in her 1952 collection The Apple TreeA British writer, du Maurier wrote this story as a metaphor for the Blitz, the infamous and devastating air raids over England during World War II. Though the film counterpart is set in America and lacks the same meaning, Hitchcock’s film is still culturally significant with its preservation in the National Film Registry.


4. Children of the Corn (1984)


VHS jacket cover of 'Children of the Corn'

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This cult classic horror film is notable as perhaps the best of many film adaptations of Stephen King‘s short stories. Other King short story adaptations include “1408,” “Apt Pupil,” “The Boogeyman,” “The Mist,” “Graveyard Shift,” and many, MANY more— not to mention adaptations of his full-length novels. (You can read the best of King’s short stories here.) A large number of King’s film adaptations are faithful to the original. In this case, both the film and the short story depict a cult of children living in a cornfield in Nebraska, murdering anyone over the age of eighteen at the order of their sinister deity.


5. The Tournament (2009)


Ian Somerhalder in 'The Tournament'

Image via collider.com


This indie British film, starring Lost and The Vampire Diaries‘ Ian Somerhalder, takes inspiration from classic short story “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell. A source of fear and delight for students across the world, Connell’s 1932 story describes a castaway’s chilling fight for survival as an unhinged aristocrat hunts him for sport. The film adaptation reinterprets this struggle as a televised competition between wealthy human-hunters. While The Tournament itself didn’t achieve much box office success, it’s notable as one of nearly twenty film adaptations of this dark and thrilling story. It’s also made its way into TV pop culture, inspiring episodes of hit shows Supernatural and Law and Order: SVU.



Featured Image Via Popsugar

William Faulkner

10 Quotes From the Irreplicable William Faulkner

A legend of American literature, William Faulkner is a name that simply oozes talent and impeccable writing. I can easily recall reading “A Rose for Emily” in school and the chilling feeling that followed after finishing the story. Faulkner was that good.
His birthday is today, but as a Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize winner, he should be honored no matter what. Here are ten quotes from the literary legend.


1. “Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.
Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”



2. “Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.”



3. “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”



4. “Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”



5. “Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain.”



6. “Perhaps they were right putting love into books. Perhaps it could not live anywhere else.”



7. “The next time you try to seduce anyone, don’t do it with talk, with words. Women know more about words than men ever will. And they know how little they can ever possibly mean.”



8. “Don’t be ‘a writer’. Be writing.”



9. “Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders.”



10. “If a story is in you, it has to come out.”




Featured Image Via Rhys Tranter


Microfiction Mondays: Make Your Phone into a Snapread of Short Stories!

Every morning, we open our still-sleepy eyes, turn over, and reach out for our phone-slash-alarm. Stop. Stop. Stop. After snoozing all the noisy alarm rings, we always check out the notifications that piled up all night.


This is a routine for every modern person. Notifications full of messages, news, and emails.


Now, there can be a small variation happening in the repetition. According to SERIAL BOX, you can turn your phone into a snapread of short stories as long as you have their app Serial Box Publishing. Beginning July 9th, the app with its newly launched program, Microfiction Mondays, will send a 150-character-or-less story to your phone via the notification function.

The left story is by Brian Francis Slattery; the right is by Brenda Clough | Image Via SERIAL BOX


The short stories come from a group of talented authors/writers who are embroidered with Hugo, World Science Fiction, and Nebula Award-winning and nominated sparkles.


The official blog said:


The perfect bite-sized story for a busy afternoon filled with meetings, we hope these will provide a moment of fictional solace for our Serial Boxers. This is one more step in the world of pushing the boundaries and limitations of technology and social to expand on the written word and storytelling, and we are excited to bring you something fresh.


It sounds really interesting and I’m downloading the app (lol). Oh, one thing you Bookstr folks need to know is that, if you swipe the story-in-the-notification out, it will never come back again.


Featured Image Via SERIAL BOX