Sunday 25 May 2014

The irresistible rise of the short story

Why the short story is the perfect literary form for the 21st century.

The following paragraphs are extracted from an article in the Daily Telegraph 25th May 2014. The full article can be found here

There’s no doubt about it, the short story is having “a moment”. It started this time last year, when Lydia Davis, not so much a short-story writer as a short-short-story writer (some of her tales are only a sentence long) won the Man Booker International Prize, a decision that took the literary world by storm.
When Davis’ triumph was followed by a Nobel Prize for the Canadian short-story writer Alice Munro, people started to mutter that something significant was afoot. While two successive prizes could be coincidence, the renaissance of the short story was confirmed when the American George Saunders won the inaugural Folio Prize at the start of the year for Tenth of December.

Publishing wisdom says short-story collections don’t sell. But the prognosis is good. According to The Bookseller, the trade magazine of the publishing industry, short-story sales rose 35 per cent in 2013 – and that was before Saunders won the Folio. But it is technology that has cemented the short story’s popularity this century. Suddenly, after years out in the cold, the short story finds itself the perfect fit for our attention spans and our mobile devices.

Many people struggle to find the time to engage with a full-length novel when they’re dealing with emails every second of every day or having to meet deadlines or rush home to put the kids to bed. A short story offers the perfect antidote – it’s the equivalent of listening to a single track of music instead of the whole album.

At their best, ... (short stories) are a whole world in miniature, they are like perfect small gifts. Like a brief encounter, they can be transforming and transfixing, but, unlike long relationships, they never flag.

You can find all Barnaby's Short Stories here . 8 volumes, with ten complete stories in each,
in a wide variety of genres. Each story the perfect length to read during a coffee break, in the bath or on the train.

There is more information about Barnaby's short stories, full length novels or quirky poems on his website

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