2020 is shaping up to be a great year not only for fiction, but also for short story collections! Here are a few that I am really looking forward to.
Intimacies by Lucy Caldwell
Faber & Faber, June
Intimacies is a beautiful new collection of stories from the wonderful Lucy Caldwell and features her usual insightful writing and heartfelt characterisation. This collection features a range of women all trying to find their place in the world and explores those moments upon which a life can pivot.
I’ve read Intimacies and I can highly recommend it – Caldwell has a real skill in pulling the reader right into a story, making her writing perfect for the shorter form.
Modern Times by Cathy Sweeney
The Stinging Fly, March
Any new publication from The Stinging Fly is worth checking out, but Modern Times, a collection by Cathy Sweeney comes with great promise. Sweeney’s stories have been compared in style to Samuel Beckett and Angela Carter and feature an epidemic that turns humans blue, a child that never ages and a woman who befriends her husband’s sex doll. I don’t know about you, but I do not need any more convincing!
Lifestyle Choice 10mg by Rosemary Jenkinson
Doire Press, March
Rosemary Jenkinson is a great friend of 746 Books and a new book from her is always something to look forward to. Following Catholic Boy, which came out in 2018, this new collection of stories promises more of her sharp insight, piercing wit and intelligent take on the modern world.
You can find out more about Rosemary’s work and read an extract from one of her new stories here.
Why The Moon Travels by Oein deBhairduin
Skein Press, Autumn
Skein Press is an exciting new Irish publisher founded in 2017 with the aim of publishing ‘outlooks and experiences not often represented in Irish publishing’. Their first publication was This Hostel Life by Melatu Uche Okorie, which explored life in Direct Provision in modern day Ireland.
Their second publication comes from Oein deBhairduin a writer and activist who is a member of the Irish Traveller community and this is a collection of haunting folk tales that take inspiration from the Traveller oral tradition. With illustrations by Leanne McDonagh, this promises to be a very special collection that, according to the Skein Press website ‘captures several aspects of the rich traveller culture, expression and intricate understandings’
The Art of the Glimpse, edited by Sinéad Gleeson
Head of Zeus, October
Sinéad Gleeson has more that proved her credentials as an exceptional editor of short stories, which makes this collection from Head of Zeus a very interesting prospect. Details from their website state ‘Drawing on a rich tradition spanning almost two centuries, from Maria Edgeworth, Oscar Wilde and James Joyce to the current wave of young writers reinventing the story for a new generation, Gleeson will select 100 of the very best short stories from Ireland’s ample literary canon.’
Called The Art of the Glimpse, it will be published in hardback in October 2020. 100 short stories might seem like a tall order, but Gleeson has shown a keen eye and particular sensitivity in her collections The Long Gaze Back and The Glass Shore, so I would imagine this will be a collection filled with some previously overlooked writers and some interesting choices.
The Anthology of Irish Folk Tales
The History Press, March
The history of the Irish Short Story has its traditions in the county’s strong oral tradition. Folk tales have been passed down for centuries and The History Press has carefully selected stories from their previous series’ and gathered them together in this special volume celebrating traditional Irish legend and lore. It promises a treasure trove of tales from talented storytellers performing today. From banshees, pookas and changelings to rainbows, fairies and leprechauns, it will honour the distinct character of Ireland’s customs, beliefs and dialects.
Do any of these take your fancy?
I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!