The Covid-19 lockdown and what it’s doing to us is driving us crazy, but an hour with different stories every evening can definitely keep us sane through this.
I genuinely think reading is the best thing you can do in this quarantine phase, and its the best time to explore some new short fiction.
In this article, I am sharing some of the best short stories of 2019. These unique stories, woven by the best of the writers, are sure to strike a nerve.
What unites all these collections of stories is that they all have the potential to engross and absorb.
If there’s a story or short fiction I’ve missed, make sure to share your recommendations in the comments section below.
Home Remedies by Xuan Juliana Wang
Home Remedies, based on the east-Asian characters, is a collection of twelve short stories of family, love, friendship, identity, and the changing face of Chinese youth.
Zuan has an impeccable writing style that captures the innermost thoughts of all her characters with remarkable empathy. I can say, without a doubt that Xuan Juliana Wang is a master of short fiction.
Where the Light Falls, Selected Stories Of Nancy Hale
Nancy Hale’s Where the Light Falls is a collection of two dozen stories written between 1934 and 1966, republished as a collection in 2019. In these stories, we meet protagonists that are flawed, real, haunted, and relatable.
Though these stories are an easy read, Hale’s topics are brave. She speaks of abortion, fascism, racism, and many similar issues that are relevant now.
We Love Anderson Cooper by R.L. Maizes
Pushcart Prize-nominated author R.L. Maizes, through his anthology ‘We Love Anderson Cooper’ paints a picture of mesmerizing characters who are quirky, humorous, and deeply human.
My favourite in the anthology includes ‘Tattoo’ and ‘Couch.’ I was surprised by how engaging these two stories were and how they captured my attention in such a short period.
Black Light by Kimberly King Parsons
Kimberly King Parsons’ Black light is an exciting mix of gritty and dark characters who live mundane lives. These stories, centred around the lives of underprivileged and marginalized, are caustic and biting. They have a sarcastic voice of teens who are fed up with patronizing men and rural Texas.
Kimberly Parsons uses a perfect blend of longing, humour, and humid southern atmosphere to make Black Light one of the most memorable reads of 2019.
Exhalation by Ted Chiang
Exaltation is an elegant and fantastical collection that deals with the oldest questions of the earth – what does it mean to be a human. It comprises stories that make you grapple with the big questions of existence and explore the human relationship.
It’s a brilliant breakdown of universal questions and principles written for a robot race.
The World Doesn’t Require You, Rion Amilcar Scott
Rion Scott’s ‘The World Doesn’t Require You’, is one of the smartest story collections I’ve ever read. These eleven stories cover fables and coming of age themes – all wrapped into a thought-provoking collection that explores love, slavery, connection, loneliness, sexism, racism, and even hope.
Heart-wrenching yet humorous, the author paints vivid pictures of a variety of emotions, without failing to offer a steady stream of wisdom throughout the book.
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