Friday, September 13, 2013

Ten of the best short stories

Tessa Hadley's novels include Accidents in the Home, Everything Will Be All Right, The Master Bedroom, The London Train, and Clever Girl. She has stories published regularly in The New Yorker, and also in Granta and the Guardian; a collection, Sunstroke and other stories, was published in 2007. A second collection, Married Love, came out in 2012.

Hadley named her top ten short stories for the Guardian. One title on the list:
"Country Lovers" by Nadine Gordimer

This is one of a pair of stories set in apartheid-era South Africa – there's a Town Lovers, too, equally fine and terrible. A white farmer's son and one of the black girls from the kraal play together as children; when the time comes to grow up into segregation they can't unlearn the deep affinity they feel for each other. The blunt instruments of an unjust law invade their intimacy and privacy. Gordimer draws on two story traditions at once: an austere political parable is also a fragment of life, rendered with a sensuous and exact realism.
Read about another story on the list.

Also see: Rosamund Bartlett's five top books on Russian short stories, Chris Priestley's top ten scary short stories, Jane Ciabattari's five must-read short-story collections, and Alison MacLeod's top ten short stories.

--Marshal Zeringue