Toby Litt, novelist and short story writer, recommends…

(CLASSIC: from The Better Sort, Bibliobazaar)

There is something infinite about this story – every time I read it, I get lost in an emotional hall of mirrors. What is a couple? What is fulfillment? What is perversity? What counts as an event? Can a great love be a love that never happened? Isn’t great remorse a perverse fulfillment?

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(MODERN: from Emerald City and Other Stories, Corsair).

This is my favourite recent story – first published in the New Yorker in 1989, and then appearing in Jennifer Egan’s first book, Emerald City and Other Stories. It’s a very simple, melancholy account of a fashion shoot in Africa, involving the stylist, the model and the photographer. It’s about beauty, and is extremely beautiful.

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