|one shelf of many and porcelain jars by heyday design|
The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
If you haven't read anything by Shirley Jackson, this is a good place to start. My friend and, really, my reading mentor (so many amazing suggestions over the years!), Camilla, reintroduced me to Jackson when she lent me We Have Always Lived in the Castle, which is still one of my favourites.
Drown by Junot Diaz
Many of you are likey familiar with Diaz's novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2008, among many other prestigious awards. Well, Drown is a collection of short stories that will really lead you right to that novel's front door. I always feel like I'm hanging out with the cool kids when I read Diaz. You should really check him out if you haven't already.
In Persuasion Nation by George Saunders
Okay, I chose this George Saunders book because I think it is the best of his collections, but it isn't the only good one. You should really read them all, and I can almost guarantee that once you've read one, you'll head straight for the rest. I tried to find a quote from his writing to include with this, and though I have lots of favourites, I just couldn't come up with one that would tell the whole story. Hilarious, crazy vernacular language, I don't know, he just says it exactly how any of us would. If you read one book of short stories this year, I'd say it should probably be this one.
Where I'm Calling From by Raymond Carver
Finally, the big one. This is it, the ultimate fall reading, the ultimate American short stories. I'm currently reading Call If You Need Me, but Where I'm Calling From is the classic. I actually don't have words for this, all I can say is you have to read it. Now.
Have you read any of these? Do you have favourite short story writers? Tell me more!