I posted “5 more short stories you can – and should – read online right now” over a year ago in response to an article Paste Magazine posted. It’s gotten a consistant amount of hits since then, so I decided to follow it up with this post.
“Girls, At Play” – Celeste Ng
Ng was the author of the first book I read during this year’s challenge I gave to myself. I thoroughly enjoyed Everything I Never Told You. Around that time I read a few of her short stories and discovered a treasure trove of gems. This one was originally published in the Bellvue Literary Review in 2010. It’s a coming of age story that explores feminine identity and sexuality with such honesty.
“Early Girl” – J. Ryan Stradal
Stradal’s Kitchens of the Great Midwest was one of my favorite novels of 2015. This short story shares similar themes and characters to that novel. It’s cleverly written and extremely detailed. I definitely suggest reading this story, which was originally published on Midnight Breakfast. If you like it, then obviously read his debut novel.
“The Graveless Doll of Eric Mutis” – Karen Russell
Originally published in Conjunctions, Russell’s story can be read on Electric Literature’s Required Reading blog. It’s a empathetic tale of adolescent boys who are clearly not the nicest of teens. It’s earnest, yet, like most of her writing, fantastical in a sense. Her prose allows readers to breathe and discover at their own pace.
“Escape from New York” – Zadie Smith
I tried to avoid The New Yorker this time around, but Smith’s story stood out when I was creative this list. It is a imaginative read about 9/11, Michael Jackson, Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor. There’s a sense of comedy as Smith deals with tragedy and narcissism. It originally appeared in the summer of 2015.
“Granddaughters” – Anthony Marra
Note: you need to sign up for a free account for Narrative, but it’s worth it. This story is one of the heavy hitters from Marra’s terrific The Tsar of Love and Techno (2015). The collection weaves stories, previously published like this one as well as original, about Russia through the years. This 2011 story is a cornerstone into understanding the world Marra explores.