Let’s Be Email Besties #pizza🍕 #wine🍷

24 Sep 2017

Toronto

By Gracie Carroll

9 Short Stories We Can’t Wait To Read In 2018 (And They’re All By Women)

By Alexandra Donaldson

Things are Good Now Djamila Ibrahim - Short Stories By Women Toronto 2018 Edit Seven

My own personal love of short stories cannot be untangled from my love of myths and fairy tales. Those were my first short stories, read to me by parents and grandparents. I still have those early-years short story collections in my modest library and I still read them—to me they will always be the books that showed me reading is rewarding and not that scary. (Except for my Faber Book of Favourite Fairy Tales that had creepy illustrations and which was kind of scary, but in the best possible way.)

Of course, fairy tales aren’t usually lumped in with short stories when we talk about fiction. My short story reading grew up a little bit and away from fairy tales thanks to high school (hi, JD Salinger’s Nine Stories) and university (oh hello, James Joyce’s Dubliners). I also tackled Raymond Carver and Alice Munro and Flannery O’Connor and Junot Diaz. And then I forgot about short stories for a bit and focused on novels and magazine articles and essays. Sigh. There is never enough time to read everything you want.

But the beginning of this year has brought a bunch of short story collections to my desk and I’m excited to read pretty much all of them. To be honest, they seem particularly appealing right now. It probably has something to do with how we—we being society—have come to appreciate brevity. Sure, a short story tends to be more than 280 characters, but they are typically, as the name suggests, short. Short stories fit our busy, over-scheduled on-the-go lives. They can be episodic in a way that those of us who enjoy the golden age of television (aka, now) can appreciate. Though, think more Black Mirror than Game of Thrones. Sometimes with all we’ve got going on, an episode is all we can handle, or commit to.

Alexandra Donaldson Portrait

A portrait of a woman who loves short stories. Follow me for daily reads @AlxDonaldson 

The snapshot that short stories offer, oftentimes starting in the middle of something and ending before that something is resolved, don’t promise closure—don’t even promise character development or even interesting plot points. Short stories just offer a glimpse, a peek into a story that you’ll never know all of. Perhaps it’s comforting to know that what you see is just a snapshot, that this too will give way to another episode or moment that is part of a much larger experience.

The truth of the matter is that short stories have probably never actually gone away, I’m just rediscovering my love for them thanks to a bunch of talented female writers who are killing the genre. There’s plenty covered in this crop of short stories—space travel and the far-off past and personal relationships and family obligation. There’s even a touch of the fairy-tale genre that had me fall in love with the imaginative but brief structure of the short story in the first place.

Here are 9 short story collections I can’t wait to read in 2018 that are all written by women:

Tiger, Tiger by Johanna Skibsrud

Tiger Tiger Johanna Skibsrud Short Stories By Women Toronto 2018 Edit Seven

This collection includes 14 stories that cover Mars, taxidermy, teenage-dom and fake weddings. You might recognize author Johanna Skibsrud for her Scotiabank Giller prize-winning novel The Sentimentalists.

Click HERE to pre-order!

Things Are Good Now by Djamila Ibrahim

Short Stories By Women Toronto 2018 Edit Seven

Tackling the migrant experience, Ibrahim talks about race, displacement, religion and disillusionment in her collection of stories that though fiction, shed light on realities of moving across the world.

Click HERE to shop!

 

The Doll’s Alphabet by Camilla Grudova

The Doll's Alphabet Camilla Grduova - Short Stories By Women Toronto 2018 Edit Seven

This collection promises to be childlike and grotesque, so obviously I’m sold on it. Toronto-based Grudova offers up a fantasy world not unlike a fairytale—just much, much darker.

Click HERE to shop!

When We Were Birds by Maria Mutch

When we were Birds Maria Mutch - Short Stories By Women Toronto 2018 Edit Seven

This one has fairytale written all over it—especially in the short story that retells an actual fairytale (Bluebeard). We also included this pick in our list of Canadian books written by women to read this year.

Click HERE to pre-order!

Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires

Heads of the colored people Nafissa Thompson-Spires Short Stories By Women Toronto 2018 Edit Seven

While tackling subjects like gun control and suicide, this collection from Thompson-Spires about black experiences also promises to be darkly funny.

Click HERE to pre-order!

The Unreal and the Real by Ursula K. LeGuin

The Unreal and The Real Ursula K. Le Guin - Short Stories By Women Toronto 2018 Edit Seven

Though these stories aren’t new, they are definitely a must for anyone interested in fantasy and science fiction, from a revered author who recently passed away.

Click HERE to shop!

The Vanishing Princess by Jenny Diski

The Vanishing Princess Jenny Diski - Short Stories By Women Toronto 2018 Edit Seven

Published posthumously, this collection of short stories that range from the magical to the mundane, but all are meaningful and poignant.

Click HERE to shop!

That Tiny Life by Erin Frances Fisher

That Tiny Life Erin Frances Fisher - Short Stories By Women Toronto 2018 Edit Seven

This detailed collection of short stories, tackles subjects you didn’t know you wanted to know about from deep in the past to positing about the future. We also included this pick in our list of Canadian books written by women to read this year.

Click HERE to pre-order!

I am I am I am Maggie O'Farrell - Short Stories By Women Toronto 2018 Edit Seven

Honourable Mention: I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell – Okay so this is actually a memoir, but it may as well be a short story collection. The author is retelling, in an episodic way, all of her brushes with death. And because she’s such a talented writer, I had to keep reminding myself

Click HERE to shop!

HAPPY READING!

xo

@EDITSEVEN

(Story by Contributing Editor, Alexandra Donaldson)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: