Thursday, October 4, 2012

Five top contemporary short story collections

Lorin Stein is the editor of The Paris Review and co-editor of Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story.

He named five top contemporary short story collections for The Daily Beast.

One title on the list:
PU-239 and Other Russian Fantasies
by Ken Kalfus

Imagine Breaking Bad but with weapons-grade plutonium instead of meth. That’s the basic premise of the title story from Kalfus’s 1999 cult classic, which throws Soviet history into a centrifuge and hits “spin.” Other stories feature the cosmonaut Nikolai Gagarin, Jewish homesteaders in Mongolia, and a disgraced dissident writer forced to review a novel by Leonid Brezhnev. My favorite story in the collection, “Anzhelika, 13,” is about a lonely girl getting her period for the first time in the last days of Stalin’s reign. No one else writes historical fiction like this.
Read about the other titles on the list.

Also see Alison MacLeod's top ten short stories.

--Marshal Zeringue