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Cool New Short Story Collections

“Stories are not chapters of novels. They should not be read one after another, as if they were meant to follow along. Read one. Shut the book. Read something else. Come back later. Stories can wait.” ― Mavis Gallant

Stories can wait, but we can’t! Here are some recent short story collections that display diversity both in content and in style!

We All Need to Eat by Alex Leslie (Book*hug)
We All Need to Eat is a new collection of linked stories from Alex Leslie that revolve around Soma, a young Queer woman in Vancouver, chronicling her attempts to come to grips with herself, her family and her sexuality. Set in different moments falling between Soma’s childhood and her late thirties, each story presents a sea change in Soma’s life.

This Keeps Happening by H.B. Hogan (Invisible Publishing)
Short, punchy, visceral stories. A bush party leads to self-immolation. A cab ride ends in warfare. A universally impossible dare is accepted and proves not to be fatal. The stories in H. B. Hogan’s debut collection are full of scrappy, sordid, and sparkling humanity. “Hogan demonstrates how redemption may be tenuous, but hope is not completely lost.” — Quill & Quire

Hider/Seeker by Jen Currin (Anvil Press)
From poet Jen Currin, these stories take place in cafes, in snowy woods, on city street corners, and at Zen retreats — where conversations happen in the margins of books and filthy shoes are treated with reverence. Unflinchingly honest in their portrayal of relationships — in particular, the relationships of the book’s LGBTQ+ characters — these stories navigate spirituality, monogamy, and sex.

Crow Jazz by Linda Rogers (Mother Tongue Publishing)
Another short story collection from an accomplished poet, Crow Jazz comes from tree level, selecting beak sized twitter-bits from life on earth below, with an eye to the bigger picture. “Fuelled by a poet’s sensorium and word mischief, Crow Jazz is a jostling ride that, story after story, is funny, angry, wise, and wild.”— Bill Gaston

Something for Everyone by Lisa Moore (House of Anansi Press)
Longlisted for the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize, Something for Everyone is Lisa Moore’s third short story collection. These stories show us the timeless, the tragic, and the miraculous hidden in the underbelly of our everyday lives. Moore seems bent on nothing less than rewiring the circuitry of the short story itself.

Little Bird Stories, Volume 8 selected by Michelle Winters, introduction by Sarah Selecky (Invisible Publishing)
The Little Bird Writing Contest is an international contest exclusively for innovative, emerging short fiction writers. The contest opens each spring when the birds come back and showcases the excellent stories that come from Sarah Selecky Writing School. And, how cool is this? Proceeds from anthology sales go toward the Pelee Island Bird Observatory and the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory to help protect the real little birds out there.

The Ambassador of What by Adrian Michael Kelly (ECW Press)
Men and boys and maleness, money and its lack, the long haunt of childhood, marriage and divorce — these lie at the heart of The Ambassador of What. Driven by an ear for how we talk, how we feel, how we fail, and how we love, these are tough and tender stories that take hold, and linger. “Adrian Kelly’s stories pull us into the tender, brittle world of fathers and sons.” — Merilyn Simonds

Toward the North and Other Stories by Chinese Canadian Authors edited by Hua Laura Wu, Xueqing Xu, Corinne Bieman Davies (Inanna Publications)
The short fictions in Toward the North are written and translated by Chinese-Canadian writers and illustrate newcomers’ perspectives of multicultural Canada. Struggles between cultural assimilation and resistance are vividly and captivatedly portrayed. The authors’ approaches to their characters’ life experience of culture’s in-between displays an intriguing diversity both in content and in styles.

Difficult People by Catriona Wright (Nightwood Editions)
Manipulators, liars, egomaniacs, bullies, interrupters, condescenders, ice queens, backstabbers, hypocrites, withholders, belligerents, self-deceivers, whiners, know-it-alls, nitpickers. The characters in this collection fumble through their quests for freediving fame, stand-up glory, romantic love, stable employment or anyone who can tolerate them, revealing that we are all, in our own ways, difficult people.

The Whirlpool by Laurel Croza, illustrated by Kelsey Garrity-Riley (Groundwood Books) – Juvenile Fiction
In these seven stories by Laurel Croza (author of the award-winning picture books I Know Here and From There to Here), five teenagers, a doll and a squirrel break out of the expectations placed upon them. Featuring beautiful black-and-white illustrations by Kelsey Garrity-Riley. “There’s a persistent yet subtle sense in every story of the strive to rise above the ordinary and gain a higher view….A thoughtful read for a contemplative teen.” ― School Library Journal

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