Best Short Story Collections of 2017

Best Short Story Collections of 2017

Posted on January 04, 2018 by Lourdes Alcaraz

2017 was an excellent year for the short story, and East Brunswick Public Library is filled with some of the best examples that it has to offer. 

Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh
This electrifying debut collection wonderfully combines darkly grim tales with laugh-out-loud funny       moments.  There's something eerily unsettling about Ottessa Moshfegh's stories, something almost dangerous, while also being delightful, and even laugh-out-loud funny as her characters yearn for connection and self-enrichment while falling victim to their own shortcomings.

Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami
Muarkami’s latest collection contains his noted penchant for absurd story elements and timely cultural references.  These are mesmerizing tales of alienation as Murakami demonstrates that he is still a master of the open-ended mystery.

Trajectory by Richard Russo
Russo develops these stories with smooth assurance, allowing readers to discover layers of meaning in his superb narration in stories that follow writers and college professors.  This collection of expansive stories demonstrates Russo’s immense talent, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize for the novel Empire Falls.

What it Means When a Man Falls from the Sky by Lesley Arimah 
This debut collection blends sci-fi with magical realism in a way that explores the ties that bind parents and children, husbands and wives, lovers and friends to one another and to the places they call home.

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Pulitzer Prize winner Nguyen’s brilliant new work of fiction offers vivid and intimate portrayals of   characters and explores identity, war, and loss in stories collected over a period of two decades.  This is a beautifully written and sharply observed book about the aspirations of those who leave one country for another, and the relationships and desires for self-fulfillment that define our lives.

The Dinner Party by Joshua Ferris
The collection pulls together stories that draw on the deeply felt yearnings, heartbreaking absurdity, and redemptive humor of life.  The titular story centers on an anticipated get-together with supposedly boring dinner guests that takes a surprising twist.  From the author of the critically acclaimed novel To Rise Again at a Decent Hour. 

Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez
Enriquez’s stories are historically and socially conscious, but her characters never give in to sentimentalism. She’s after a truth more profound, and more disturbing, than whatever the strict dictates of realism allow.
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