12 Short Story Collections to Read in 2018

I’d like to read at least one collection of short stories every month this year. In addition to the collections already on my stands, I have my eye on the following books, a couple of which I’ve already read this year:

  1.  Curfew Chronicles by Jennifer Rahim – I’ve fallen behind in my reading of Caribbean Literature. I intend to compile a list of ten books to help me catch up a bit.  In the meantime, I went looking for the longlist of the OCM Bocas Prize (for Caribbean Literature) and found three short story collections in the fiction category.  For sentimental reasons, I picked the Trinidadian book which “is a series of linked short stories unfolding over a period of twenty-four hours, with a cast of interconnected characters from all levels of society.”
  2. Elsewhere, Home by Leila Aboulela –  from the author of Minaret, The Kindness of Enemies and Lyric Alley.
  3. Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado – This debut collection is said to combine horror, science fiction and fairy tales.  The collection made a splash in 2017. Finalist and winner of several awards. Mentions and influences of Marquez, Shirley Jackson, Calvino etc. I’m intrigued.
  4. Insurrections by Rion Amilcar Scott – another debut collection. I came across a mention of it by Daniel José Older, a writer I follow on Twitter.  Scott mentioned Edward P. Jones in an interview and that sealed it for me. I don’t mind admitting that I’m impressionable lol. Name-dropping one of my favorite writers goes a long way with me!
  5. Soweto, Under the Apricot Tree by Niq Mhlongo – I met Niq when he came to Accra for the Pa Gya Lit Fest.  He is such a nice person.  Plus, he’s good friends with Zukiswa Wanner whom I adore. So more than sold.  Also, my reading of contemporary South African literature is abysmal and disgraceful. It needs fixing pronto. This collection is Mhlongo’s fifth book. I have one of his novel, Way Back Home, on my shelves already.
  6. Tender by Sofia Samatar – 2018 is the year I finally read a Sofia Samatar book. Say Amen! I’ve had her award-wining fantasy novel, A Stranger in Olondria, on my wishlist for ever.
  7. The Complete Stories by Clarice Lispector – 645 pages of Lispector glory. I’m not new to her works and I’m a huge fan.  This collection is, for me, a must-have, must-read work by the greatest Brazilian writer ever. Translated from the Portuguese by Katrina Dodson.
  8. The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen – Nguyen’s first book, The Sympathizers, won the Pulitzer Prize.  I’ve decided my intro to his work will be this collection.
  9. The World Goes On by László Krasznahorkai – His name will appear in the list of contenders for the Nobel prize this year and I figure I should know what I’m talking about. (hahaha).  Truly, he’s been on my wishlist for a while and I’ll start with his stories. Translated by John Batki, Ottilie Mulzet and George Szirtes
  10. Things We Lost in the Fire by Marina Enriquez – Stories set in Argentina. I don’t recall what brought the collection to my attention but here it is.
  11. What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah – I’ve finished this wonderful collection. A review is coming soonish.
  12. What is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi – I’ve resolved to start reading Oyeyemi. I have another of her books, Boy, Snow, Bird, on my shelves.

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. Loads of great recommendations here, Kinna! The only one I’ve dipped into is the collection of Lispector’s stories, which I just “discovered” earlier this year. Some of the others were already on my TBR and I’ve added the others; thank you.

    To add to your list, I recommend some indigenous storytellers who mix humour with realistic depiction of life on and off the reservation land, like Dawn Dumont (Nobody Cries at Bingo is the first, from 2011, for this Nehewin/Cree and Metis writer) or Thomas King (A Short History of Indians in Canada is a remarkable collection from this Cherokee writer, with an exceptionally stunning opener). Wickedly funny and insightful.


  2. Wow! You know, I haven’t read any short story collections recently, but this post whetted my appetite. I was in Trinidad & Tobago recently, so I think I’ll give Curfew Chronicles a try!

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  3. I read Lesley Nneka Arimah’s collection and it is so good. So good! And I am reading Niq’s “Soweto, Under The Apricot Tree” and its one of the best collections right now. If you haven’t read in yet, you are in for a treat.

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