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Favorite short story writers

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Topic: Favorite short story writers
Posted By: mikelly63
Subject: Favorite short story writers
Date Posted: 25 Jul 2019 at 2:26pm
I don't know if this has been posted before, saw a favorite novel post but not short story authors

I read primarily short stories and the books I read tend to be on the short side. Here are some
of my favs.

Classics: Kafka, Hemingway, Paul Bowles. Metamorphosis is my favorite of all time. Hemingway and Bowles  I love there short stories but dislike their books. I guess I'm a Hemingway hater when it comes to his books but not his stories, most of which were written before his classic novels.

Sci Fi: Philip K. Dick, Vonnegut, JG Ballard and Harlan Ellison. I have read many of Dicks novels, probably 19 and he is one of my favorite authors. Vonnegut too.

Horror: JR Lansdale. I realized I hardly read any horror and I bet I would like it if I found the right authors. I read King's short stories when I was a kid, should probably revisit them. BTW did I say Metamorphosis is my favorite? Sorry Bubba Ho Tep is the greatest work of literature and cinema of all time!

Contemporary: George Saunders, TC Boyle. Saunders is probably my favorite short story writer. I tend to like dark humor and satire. 2 new writers I just discovered that also fall into that category are Alyssa Nutting and John Jodzio. I also like Stuart Dybeck, he writes a lot of growing up in Chicago, and he's a great painter.


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Replies:
Posted By: vkmartin
Date Posted: 25 Jul 2019 at 3:03pm
I don't read as many short stories as I'd like to (I want to read all the things) but short stories is one place where I really enjoy Neil Gaiman. Not all of his stories are hits but they're usually at least interesting. With his novels, I find his characters often seem flat, but I don't have that problem in shorter things.

Also Stephen King is a pretty brilliant short story writer.


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Posted By: GallifreyGirl
Date Posted: 25 Jul 2019 at 3:30pm
Amber Sparks, Karen Russell, Jennifer Egan, Kelly Link, Carmen Maria Machado, Denis Johnson, DFW, Lydia Davis ... I've also been on an essay-reading kick lately, so John D'Agata, John Jeremiah Sullivan, Jo Ann Beard, Dinty Moore, Joan Didion, Annie Dillard

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Posted By: ChillyToez
Date Posted: 25 Jul 2019 at 4:39pm

I'm half way through Gabino Iglesias's "Coyote Songs" and the stories are riveting. 


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Posted By: mikelly63
Date Posted: 25 Jul 2019 at 4:42pm
Originally posted by GallifreyGirl GallifreyGirl wrote:

Amber Sparks, Karen Russell, Jennifer Egan, Kelly Link, Carmen Maria Machado, Denis Johnson, DFW, Lydia Davis ... I've also been on an essay-reading kick lately, so John D'Agata, John Jeremiah Sullivan, Jo Ann Beard, Dinty Moore, Joan Didion, Annie Dillard


Amber Sparks and Kelly Link look right up my alley, will check them out.


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Posted By: kodanie1
Date Posted: 25 Jul 2019 at 9:06pm
Jacob Appel is a current favorite of mine! 

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Posted By: Lookit There
Date Posted: 25 Jul 2019 at 10:48pm
John Cheever, Roald Dahl, Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, Sherwood Anderson, The Brothers Grimm. These are just off the top of my head - I'm sure I could go on and on and on...

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Posted By: jibwriter
Date Posted: 26 Jul 2019 at 12:32am
My latest favorite is Helen Oyeyemi. I discovered her while doing research for a NYCM fairy tale prompt. I love both Mr. Fox and What is Not Yours is Not Yours. Ray Bradbury's Illustrated Man was my original inspiration to write.  

I loved and am still haunted by "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates. 

Now I'm realizing I could also happily go on and on.


Posted By: mikelly63
Date Posted: 26 Jul 2019 at 1:24am
I am not a big fan of her, I love “Where Are you Going,
Where Have You Been”.  Haunting indeed.


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Posted By: masonanddixon
Date Posted: 26 Jul 2019 at 2:37am
Classics: Kafka, Hemingway, Poe, Lovecraft (he's extremely problematic, I know), Melville if only for Bartleby, Shirley Jackson, Gogol, Vonnegut, Borges. some Carver, Phillip K Dick,  Donald Barthelme 

Moderns: George Saunders, Denis Johnson, Amelia Gray (if anyone loves surreal horror,  check her out), Ben Marcus, DFW, Haruki Murakami, Roberto Bolano

I probably left out some, but there are many. My taste tends toward the surreal, and horrific when it comes to short stories, but only generally. I also find that my  taste in novels is quite different. Some of the above writers have written novels I love (Melville, Vonnegut, Dick, Johnson), but others I just can't stand drawn out to more than a hundred pages. Gogol, for one, is nigh unreadable to me outside of his shorts. 


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Posted By: BarbaraFL
Date Posted: 26 Jul 2019 at 5:15am
Raymond Carver just blows my mind.

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Posted By: Lookit There
Date Posted: 26 Jul 2019 at 8:05am
Originally posted by BarbaraFL BarbaraFL wrote:

Raymond Carver just blows my mind.
Oh, duh, how could I have forgotten Raymond Carver?! What a master.


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Posted By: Charlie72
Date Posted: 26 Jul 2019 at 8:29am
I used to be a big fan of Lorrie Moore.  I say used to because I haven’t revisited her in so long that maybe I’d feel different now.

Back in the 90s I read a lot of Carver and Ann Beattie but between the two of them I can only remember one story. (A Small Good Thing, Carver).


Posted By: GallifreyGirl
Date Posted: 26 Jul 2019 at 9:00am
Forgot to mention Gunnhild Oyehaug, Ted Chiang, and Junot Diaz (even though he's problematic now)

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Posted By: justmel
Date Posted: 26 Jul 2019 at 9:15am
Hawthorne, Melville, and Ursula LeGuin come immediately to mind. Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Alice Munro. Jhumpa Lahiri. Also Shirley Jackson, Flannery O'Connor, John Steinbeck, and Raymond Carver ("Cathedral" is my favorite of his), but I'm sure I'm forgetting a bunch.

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Posted By: Anansi
Date Posted: 26 Jul 2019 at 10:43am
Its Borges all the way for me. 

Labyrinths is a classic book of short stories. Also anything translated by Norman Giovani (Borges' favourite translator who lived with him for many years) mostly out of print sadly. 

In terms of individual stories, 'The Library of Babel' is horrific in its strangeness. 'The Garden of Forking paths' is mind blowing. The House of Asterion is tragically beautiful, and The Circular Ruins is a surreal and mind expanding delight. 

If you've never read Borges: Read Borges. 


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Posted By: manifestlynot
Date Posted: 26 Jul 2019 at 12:09pm
All Bradbury all the time. 

Modern favorites are Chiang and Proulx but you cannot beat Ray Bradbury for political satire, sci fi, drama, thriller, suspense...

Growing up I devoured the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, which probably gave me an appetite for darker fare. I also loved reading collections of short plays when I was a kid.


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Posted By: td333777
Date Posted: 26 Jul 2019 at 6:16pm
I know it’s not a literary choice, but I love Stephen King’s short stories.  That guy’s imagination is unbelievable, and he comes up with some flat-out genius concepts.  I like his short fiction much more than his novels, which all tend to collapse in the last 50 pages.

TD


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Posted By: Nehasrivi
Date Posted: 30 Jul 2019 at 10:45pm
Absolutely love Rabindranath Tagore’s stories. Especially ‘Kabuliwala’. Written in 1892 or so...but his thoughts are so contemporary.
 O. Henry’s ‘Gift of the Magi and W.W Jacobs ‘The Monkey Paw’ are brilliant short stories. 


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Posted By: Random
Date Posted: 31 Jul 2019 at 6:58pm
Robert Heinlein, John Varley, William Sidney Porter, Nikolai Gogol (who is best appreciated when read in the original English {that's a standing joke with my wife}), Geoffrey Chaucer, Patrick McManus.

None of these are particularly contemporary; I read mostly non-fiction (other than news) now days.


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Posted By: kizernix
Date Posted: 31 Jul 2019 at 9:40pm
The Lady with the Dog by Chekhov is my favorite. 



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Posted By: MegtheCrane
Date Posted: 01 Aug 2019 at 4:01pm
Neil Gaiman's short stories are so interesting to me! He really packs so much into a short space. Do you have a particular favorite of his? 


Posted By: Zelda
Date Posted: 01 Aug 2019 at 10:42pm
I'm not an avid reader as an adult, because my focus on reading disappeared years ago. However, in school (middle school, I believe), I read a short story that has haunted me ever since then. It was called All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury. After reading it, the teacher also showed us a film version. I haven't read or seen them since, just that one time, and it's been... [doing mental math] around thirty years, but I'm still haunted by its poignancy, and I can more-or-less recite the plot from memory. Cry
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Posted By: AineKnees
Date Posted: 04 Aug 2019 at 10:45am
Some great suggestions here that I will check out and some that I agree with. Who else... well I do like Ambrose Bierce, the story "An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge" really made an impression on me as a kid. 
Also of course "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Love that one.
Recently I enjoyed Ted Chiang's short stories (and of course the film Arrival is based on one, great film too)
Edgar Allan Poe has some great ones. And I enjoyed Stephen King's. Roald Dahl had some good creepy ones for adults too.


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Posted By: AineKnees
Date Posted: 04 Aug 2019 at 10:51am
I just thought of a story I read when I was a kid that made an impression on me ... but I didn't know the name of it or the author. Well, I found it through good old google! Examination Day by Henry Slesar ... here it is! 

https://www.gulfportschools.org/cms/lib07/MS01910520/Centricity/Domain/1228/examination_day_by_henry_slesar.pdf" rel="nofollow - https://www.gulfportschools.org/cms/lib07/MS01910520/Centricity/Domain/1228/examination_day_by_henry_slesar.pdf



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Posted By: mikelly63
Date Posted: 04 Aug 2019 at 11:17am
I would just like to point out the elephant in the room, what everyone knows to be true but is afraid to say: not only is Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery not the greatest short story of all time, it actually sucks. Yes we all read it in high school and thought it was great- that’s because it reads like a high schooler wrote it.And you can see the stupid twist coming a mile away. I for one was relieved when the annoying kid got pelted with stones because it ended the excruciating experience of being forced to read the stupid thing.

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Posted By: roccapia
Date Posted: 06 Aug 2019 at 3:34pm
I've never been a big short story reader or writer, in fact that's why I started participating in this competition, so I could improve my short story writing skills. But I like longer stuff. So I haven't read too many short stories, although right now I'm trying to read all the Pulitzer prize novels, and one of 'em is The Short Stories of John Cheever. Boy, did he write a lot of short stories :P. It's like an 850-page tome. And I do like reading them, so I'll have to say John Cheever is currently my fav, but mostly because I haven't read much of anyone else's.

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Posted By: JustLurking100
Date Posted: 06 Aug 2019 at 10:16pm
Originally posted by Zelda Zelda wrote:

I'm not an avid reader as an adult, because my focus on reading disappeared years ago. However, in school (middle school, I believe), I read a short story that has haunted me ever since then. It was called All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury. After reading it, the teacher also showed us a film version. I haven't read or seen them since, just that one time, and it's been... [doing mental math] around thirty years, but I'm still haunted by its poignancy, and I can more-or-less recite the plot from memory. Cry

It haunted me too when I read it as a kid.  One of his best imo.


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Posted By: JustLurking100
Date Posted: 06 Aug 2019 at 10:33pm
Constance Squires’ collection “Hit Your Brights” contains some dark, gritty, but beautifully real stories that linger on a bit.  It wasn’t a fast read - many times I had to set the book aside and savor what I had just read, or go back and reread passages, both with admiration and envy.

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Posted By: Andrea
Date Posted: 09 Aug 2019 at 8:57pm
So many great writers in all of your posts. I'm going to add a couple instead of repeating. 

Carmen Maria Machado
Roald Dahl
Ellen Glichrist
Joy Williams


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Posted By: Random
Date Posted: 10 Aug 2019 at 4:21pm
I am remiss for not adding Kipling.

OH, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, tho’ they come from the ends of the earth!



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Posted By: JanetM
Date Posted: 11 Aug 2019 at 8:47am
Somewhat on topic: anyone here ever get the short story advent calendar? 

 One of my friends bought it for me one Christmas. I was bad about reading one every day (holiday season prep though!), but it was very cool. The stories were by authors from all over and not Christmas related- in case you were wondering.

Not sure if they take applications to BE IN the collection, but it would be cool. There's an online story discussion, of course.

 It's pricey, btw. It's Canadian, but our dollar's a deal for Americans right now- so deal for you guys!

I like quirky stories and this definitely had them. My friend did not enjoy it as much- she does not enjoy the quirky story. (It's cheaper if you order multiple calendars.)

Anyway, here is a link in case you are interested. Not sure when the 2019 one will be out.

https://www.hingstonandolsen.com/store/the-2018-short-story-advent-calendar" rel="nofollow - https://www.hingstonandolsen.com/store/the-2018-short-story-advent-calendar


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Posted By: Andrea
Date Posted: 11 Aug 2019 at 1:15pm
Originally posted by JanetM JanetM wrote:

Somewhat on topic: anyone here ever get the short story advent calendar? 

 One of my friends bought it for me one Christmas. I was bad about reading one every day (holiday season prep though!), but it was very cool. The stories were by authors from all over and not Christmas related- in case you were wondering.

Not sure if they take applications to BE IN the collection, but it would be cool. There's an online story discussion, of course.

 It's pricey, btw. It's Canadian, but our dollar's a deal for Americans right now- so deal for you guys!

I like quirky stories and this definitely had them. My friend did not enjoy it as much- she does not enjoy the quirky story. (It's cheaper if you order multiple calendars.)

Anyway, here is a link in case you are interested. Not sure when the 2019 one will be out.

https://www.hingstonandolsen.com/store/the-2018-short-story-advent-calendar" rel="nofollow - https://www.hingstonandolsen.com/store/the-2018-short-story-advent-calendar

Super cool! Thanks for sharing this. 


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