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Welcome to The Literary Pig's blog - a safe haven for all those afflicted with
the unbearable urge to write.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Short Story Writers

Day 5 of National Short Story week and I wanted to share my favourite authors of short stories. Here goes...(in no particular order)

Elizabeth Taylor - have recently acquired the new complete collection of her short stories and can't wait to tuck in.

Raymond Carver - master of terse prose, but I learned recently that his work may have been heavily edited. Will be looking into this and further post coming...

Penelope Lively - queen of the short story in my opinion. Her stories linger long after reading and often deliver shocking surprises. Her collection 'Pack of cards' contains one of the most disturbing ghost stories I've ever read.

Kate Atkinson - have only found one collection 'Not the end of the world', which is great fun and packs an emotional punch in many of the stories.

Patrick Gale - have not yet read any of his novels but loved his two collections of short stories 'Gentleman's Relish' and 'Dangerous Pleasures'

Alice Munro - what can you say about Alice other than pure genius. Apparently she is still writing (now in her 80's) and a new collection recently released.

Helen Simpson - wonderful mixture of stories often funny or terribly sad.

Nicholas Royle - not for the easily shocked, but the most creative short story writer I've read.

Tessa Hadley - a real advocate for the short story (see earlier post on Tessa's Masterclass)

John Burnside - his stories linger for sometime.

Katherine Mansfield - have only read a couple of stories and must get hold of a collection.

Anthologies are a good way to sample lots of writers in one hit. I've really enjoyed the Penguin collections of Modern Women's Short Stories (vol I and II edited by Susan Hill).

There are many more writers to sample, but always so little time...sigh. Please share your favourites...


  1. Hi Tracy,
    Congratulations on your recent successes. Patrick Gale is one of my favourite writers. Notes from an Exhibition is brilliant, and I loved his latest - A Perfectly Good Man. Haven't read any of his short stories yet, but will be seeking them out soon.
    All the best,

    1. Thank you Veronica & lovely to hear from you. I have 'A perfectly good man' on my bookshelf, but not yet read so one for the Xmas hols. His short stories are wonderful, I loved every single one so highly recommend them :)

  2. I didn't realise Penelope Lively had written a short story collection - I'm intrigued to read her ghost story now!

  3. Karen, the collection I have is called Pack of Cards, but she may have written more short stories too. If you love her books then you will really love her short stories - some are quite exceptional.