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Five inspirational short story collections

Ah, the short story. It truly takes passion, drive, and understanding of the form to create a short story masterpiece. With a whole host of writing competitions around the corner, including the Bridport Prize and the Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Prize, we’ve brought you a selection of some of the most inspiring and influential short stories ever written, so gather your pen and paper (or computer, or tablet), and get writing!

Miranda July’s “No One Belongs Here More than You”

“In her remarkable stories of seemingly ordinary people living extraordinary lives. Miranda July reveals how a single moment can change everything. Whether writing about a middle-aged woman’s obsession with Prince William or an ageing factory worker who has never been in love, the result is startling, tender and sexy by turns.”

Author fact: As well as being a celebrated film-maker, Miranda July won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award in 2007 for “No One Belongs Here More than You”.

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Copyright: Scribner

Carmen Maria Machado’s “Her Body and Other Parties”

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Copyright: Scribner

Machado’s debut collection of short stories proves her to be a natural talent at the craft. This smouldering, collection mixes ruthless feminist politics with eerie magical realism, including themes of girlhood, trauma, and LGBT desire.

Jorge Luis Borges’ “Collected Fictions”

Jorge Luis Borges wrote hundreds of stories during a career spanning over fifty years, and is considered by many to be one of the masters of the form. Author fact: Borges’ first publication was a translation Oscar Wilde’s story “The Happy Prince” into Spanish when he was nine.

 Chimamanda Adichie “The Thing Around Your Neck”

Chimamanda Adichie is widely recognised as a renowned storyteller, but did you know she also penned this dazzling collection of short stories? Whether she’s writing epic novels or three-page stories, Adichie always perceptively explores the nuances of human nature in lucid, endlessly wise prose, upturning our preconceptions of both Africa and the West and bringing her illuminating perspective to all aspects of the human heart.

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Copyright: 4th Estate

Annie Proulx’s “Close Range”

Full of black humour and endless descriptions of the struggle waged between humans and the land, Annie Proulx’s “Close Range” is best known for containing the story “Brokeback Mountain”. Author fact: Proulx was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her novel “The Shipping News”, which was also made into a film.

Content originating from Buzzfeed.

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Copyright: Scribner