10 Short Story Collections to Read in 2014

Short Story MondayShort story collections are staples in my reading.  This year I need to finish reading Alice Munro’s Open Secrets and at least one of Mia Couto’s collections.  I’m also desperately looking for a copy of Lily Mabura’s How Shall We Kill the Bishop? and Other Stories. And Edward P. Jones’ All Aunt Hagar’s Children is always on the radar.

I’ve put together a list of collections that I find interesting, for a variety of reasons, and which I want to read in 2014. The books are:

  1. Love is Power, Or Something Like That by A. Igoni Barrett – I’ve heard really good things about this collection.  It was longlisted forFrank O’Connor International Short Story Award.
  2. How to Escape a Leper Colony by Tiphanie Yanique – My reading in Caribbean literature has slowed to a halt and needs a jump start.  I first heard of this collection when it won the fiction category of the 2011 OCM BOCAS Prize for Caribbean Literature.
  3. Happiness, Like Water by Chinelo Okparanta – This is described as a ‘stunning debut’.
  4. A Thousand Years of Good Prayers by Yiyun Li – I’ve wanted to read something by Yiyun Li for a while now.  She won the 2011 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. She has another short story collection, Gold Boy, Emerald Girl.
  5. The Selected Stories of Merce Rodoreda – I want to read all of Merce Rodoreda’s works that are available in English. Plus it moves me little along in my reading of Catalan literature. I loved Rodoreda’s two novels, The Time of the Doves and Death in Spring.
  6. The Empty Family by Colm Tóibín – I’ve been wanting to get back to the work of Colm Toibin since reading The Master, his amazing novel on the final years of Henry James.
  7. The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis –  A noted master of the form whom I ‘ve wanted to read for the longest.
  8. Drown by Junot Diaz – I have read only one short story by Diaz. The success of his latest collection, This is How You Lose Her prompts me to remedy this gap.
  9. Antipodes by Ignacio Padilla –  I added this collection to my wishlist after reading a review over at Winstondad’s Blog. Time to read it.
  10. Aerogrammes and Other Stories by Tania James – I first heard of James when her debut novel, Atlas of Unknowns, was shortlisted for DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. I’ve come across several reviews of this collection and I’m intrigued.
What are you reading or plan to read? Any short story collections on your lists? Care to suggest a collection for a future list?


  1. great post! Interesting reads. I just reserved the short story collection Dear LIfe; Stories by Alice Munro. the description sounds appealing: “Alice Munro pinpoints the moment a person is forever altered by a chance encounter, an action not taken, or a simple twist of fate.”


    • I look forward to finally reading Alice Munro. Hopefully, we can compare notes at the end of our respective readings? Thanks for posting.


  2. I loved ‘Drown’. I think it really showed Diaz’s skill as a writer. I tried to read ‘Brief and Wondrous Life…’ and I could not even finish the book, I was so annoyed with it.

    I thought the humorous stories in Igoni’s collection were the best. I can’t wait to read more from him.

    That collection from Tania James has popped up a few times that I’ve gone searching for books w/ theme of migration. I may need to check it out. Hopefully you’ll review it after you finish.


    • Thanks for commenting because I’d never heard of Hama Tuma before. My knowledge of translated fiction originally written in African languages is very limited indeed. Would love to read your review of the book. And do consider participating in the Africa Reading Challenge. Enjoy your reading!


      • Hama Tuma is Ethiopian and the book has an introdution by Ngugi Wa Thiong´o.
        Thanks Kinna, although my English not to be good I will try it.


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