Writers On The Short Story

“My first success as an author came with the award winning of short story contests. As a reader I loved the elegant short stories of William Trevor and Iain Crichton Smith, and the worlds within worlds produced by Jayne Anne Phillips. Later on I devoured the crime short stories printed in annual collections and in magazines such as Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Most recently, I enjoyed the collection Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by the American writer Wells Tower. He reminds me of Raymond Carver one of the true giants of the form. – Ian Rankin

“I love short stories – reading and writing them. The best short stories distill all the potency of a novel into a small but heady draught. They are perfect reading material for the bus or train or for a lunchtime break. Everything extraneous has been strained off by the author. The best short stories pack the heft of any novel, yet resonate like poetry.” – Ian Rankin

‘For many years I read Thomas Hardy, before turning to Franz Kafka. Kafka continues to amaze. Also, still greatly enjoyable are the stories of ‘Saki.’ They now contain a slightly Edwardian flavour, which suits them well.’ – Brian Aldiss

‘One of our best short story writers is undoubtedly William Trevor. One hears little about Trevor in the media. This is because those writers who are not as good by half as Trevor hog the media instead, but William Trevor’s voice, quiet though it is, remains the one that must be heard by anyone with a love of literature.’ – Brian Aldiss

‘The short story is as diverse and exciting a form as the novel, offering the condensed satisfaction of a good poem.’ – Sean O’Brien

‘I love the short story format, and was very much alive when writing four books of them. Classic masters for me are such as Chekhov, Stefan Zweig and Isaac Bashevis Singer. For the moderns there’s the stylish Rose Tremain and the unpredictable Ian McEwan’. – Arnold Wesker

‘The short story is the most astonishing form: more supple than the novel, because of its length it’s possible to be more experimental, to do away, sometimes, with plot or character or logic. Instead of having to fill in details, to explain itself, to come to a conclusion, a short story can simply throw a thought at the reader, hurl a moment. It’s gemlike. There are no perfect novels, but there are perfect stories, I think.’ – Naomi Alderman

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