Short Stories

Favorite Short Story Collections
Sometimes you want a big return for a little investment, and short stories fit that bill. A quality short story is precise and focused—all the flavor of a novel, with a smaller bite! Reading a short story is also a quick way to tell if you’ll like an author’s (longer) book. Here are some of our favorite short story collections.
How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
Nine brave, wise, and spellbinding stories make up this award-winning debut about tragedies both commonplace and horrific. A fall from a treehouse, an ailing mother, a near-drowning, a premature baby, a gun—each is the source of a young woman’s coming-of-age, which we witness through Orringer’s lovely, driving prose.

Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans:
This debut story collection is about mixed-race and African-American teenagers, women, and men struggling to find a place in their families and communities.

Emerald City by Jennifer Egan:
These eleven stories deal with loneliness and longing, regret and desire. Egan’s characters – models and housewives, bankers and schoolgirls – are united by their search for something outside their own realm of experience.
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri:
This Pulitzer Prize winning collection of stories is Jhumpa Lahiri’s debut, with the universal human experience on display in every tale.
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (20th Anniversary Edition) by Sherman AlexieVividly weaving memory, fantasy, and stark reality to paint a portrait of life in and around the Spokane Indian reservation, this book introduces some of Alexie’s most beloved characters, including Thomas Builds-the-Fire, the storyteller who no one seems to listen to, and his compatriot, Victor, the sports hero who turned into a recovering alcoholic.

Bed: Stories by Tao Lin:
This set of nine stories are pseudo-autobiographical, woe-is-our-generation absurdist tales. College students, recent graduates, and their parents yearn for love, a better kind of love, or something better than love.
No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories by Miranda July:
The characters in these 16 stories get into similarly extreme situations in their quests to be loved and accepted, and often resort to their fantasy lives when the real world disappoints (which is often).
Fortune Smiles: Stories by Adam Johnson:
In six masterly stories, Johnson delves deep into love and loss, natural disasters, the influence of technology, and how the political shapes the personal.

The Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories by Anthony Marra:
From the New York Times bestselling author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena—dazzling, poignant, and lyrical interwoven stories about family, sacrifice, the legacy of war, and the redemptive power of art.

A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin:

A Manual for Cleaning Women compiles the best work of the legendary short-story writer Lucia Berlin. With the grit of Raymond Carver, the humor of Grace Paley, and a blend of wit and melancholy all her own, Berlin crafts miracles from the everyday, uncovering moments of grace in the Laundromats and halfway houses of the American Southwest, in the homes of the Bay Area upper class, among switchboard operators and struggling mothers, hitchhikers and bad Christians.
Runawayby Alice Munro:

A book of extraordinary stories about love and its infinite betrayals and surprises, where the characters become as vivid as our own neighbors. It is Alice Munro’s miraculous gift to make these stories as real and unforgettable as our own.