Salt £9.99 (230pp) £9.49 from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Best British Short Stories 2011, Edited by Nicholas Royle
Friday 05 August 2011
Slip this lightweight but nourishing anthology into your holiday bag. Editor Royle has selected 20 published stories from British writers. His own (excellent) taste means that little explosions of weirdness or transcendence often erupt amid much well-observed everyday life.
But the collection has no tub-thumping agenda. Predictably fine pieces by Hilary Mantel (twice), John Burnside, Robert Edric or Michèle Roberts strike hard, but then so do (among others) the contributions from Leone Ross, Alan Beard and Christopher Burns.
Odd bursts of fantasy delight (as in Adam Marek's Cambridge danse macabre) but a super-charged realism prevails – always on the brink of a take-off, or a crash.
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
Arts & Ents blogs
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Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
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Tyler, The Creator says having new U2 album automatically downloaded on his iPhone was 'like waking up with herpes'
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke