I'm still thinking about short stories, about how they're often neglected and about how truly stunning they can be.
For me, Katherine Mansfield's 'The Garden Party' is a perfect, enduring classic, while Clare Wigfall's 'The Loudest Sound and Nothing' blew me away last year. Other collections I've loved include Salinger's 'For Esme - with Love and Squalor', Nicholas Royle's 'Mortality', Atwood's 'Bluebeard's Egg' and a huge amount of Ellen Gilchrist's fiction . . .
There are several short story champions around at the moment. Salt publishing have recently launched their dynamic Story Bank , which I'll definitely be investigating, while I'm currently reading Laura Solomon's dark and lively collection 'Alternative Medicine' (published by the ever-supportive and innovative Flame Books). For further excellent general short story information, visit http://www.theshortstory.org.uk/, where among other things, you can find Raymond Carver's brilliant essay, 'Principles of a Story'.
I would love to hear about the short stories you've enjoyed . . .
In other news -
I'm July's 'Guest Writer' on John Holding's great new Fictionfest website! If you visit the site you can read my (guess what?! another short story!) 'On the Island'.
Plus! The book I nominated, 'Monkey Beach', Eden Robinson's beautiful, layered debut novel has been included on Gary Smailes' excellent 'One Book' site.