If you’re anything like us, you’ve started looking longingly at your mounting pile of books and telling it, sadly, “I can’t; I have plans.” These days even an invitation or two can seem like a lot, and with brunch, concerts, movies, museums, dinner, drinks, and myriad other activities crying out to be selectively attended, it may seem like there is no time to read—but we’re willing to bet you can squeeze in just one short story from one of these marvelous collections. Though we can’t guarantee that you won’t get sucked in, cancel your plans, and stay in to finish the entire book, which—let’s be honest—is what you really wanted to do in the first place.
In the Valley by Ron Rash
“The power of Rash’s stories lies in [the] small moments of connection amid all the noise of rupture and heartbreak. Rash writes with a direct precision that puts the reader at ease. Here is a storyteller who not only knows his characters, but knows all the details around them as well.” —The New York Times Book Review
A short story collection of haunting allegories about the times we live in—from the perils of capitalism to the extraordinary acts of decency and heroism that exist within them—and the return of the villainess who propelled Rash’s famed Serena to national acclaim.
“Stunning. . . . Serizawa’s brave storytelling gives us more than an epic arc. She creates a narrative that is in and of itself a multidimensional space.” —NPR
A kaleidoscopic portrait of five generations scattered across Asia and the United States, Inheritors is a heartbreakingly beautiful and brutal exploration of a Japanese family fragmented by the Pacific side of World War II. Grappling with the legacies of loss, imperialism, and war, Inheritors offers an intricate tapestry of stories illuminating the complex ways in which we live, interpret, and pass on our tangled histories.
“Williams delights not simply in wordplay but also in people who are alive to the poignant and humorous potential of language.” —The New Yorker
Attrib. presents a cast of unforgettable characters standing at the precipice of emotional events (a disastrous breakup, a successful date, an unexpected arrival) and finding it fiendishly impossible to express themselves. With intimate, irreverent, and playful prose, Eley Williams rejoices in both the possibilities and limitations of language, as well as the very human need to be known and understood—despite our own best efforts.
“Whimsical. . . . Quirky and delightful.” —Booklist (starred review)
In Tiny Tales, Alexander McCall Smith explores romance, ambition, kindness, and happiness in thirty short stories accompanied by thirty witty cartoons designed by Iain McIntosh, McCall Smith’s longtime creative collaborator. These tales and illustrations depict the full scope of human experience and reveal the rich tapestry of life—painted in miniature.
“This mesmerizing collection would make a superb introduction to Murakami for anyone who hasn’t yet fallen under his spell; his legion of devoted fans will gobble it up and beg for more.” —The Boston Globe
The eight stories in this new book are all told in the first person by a classic Murakami narrator. From memories of youth, meditations on music, and an ardent love of baseball, to dreamlike scenarios and invented jazz albums, together these stories challenge the boundaries between our minds and the exterior world. Occasionally, a narrator may or may not be Murakami himself. Is it memoir or fiction? The reader decides.
“Lean, relentless, and incandescent.” —Colson Whitehead
Tackling some of humanity’s oldest questions along with new quandaries only he could imagine, these stories will change the way you think, feel, and see the world. They are Ted Chiang at his best: profound, sympathetic, revelatory.
The lovingly drawn characters of these stories give voice to the vibrant and varied life on both sides of the Mexican border with tales of pure discovery, filled with moments of infinite and intimate wisdom.