Short Story Season
August 19, 2013 | by Faber Social
The short story ‘form’, as it has come to be called, often feels like a younger neglected sibling of the better-nourished, over-indulged, fatter and brasher, novel. Novelists work on a big canvas tackling subjects in panoramic vision and glorious technicolor with the ambition of a Picasso approaching Guernica, or perhaps like Rothko, working towards a ‘pure abstraction’. They get all the prizes, attend all the glitzy parties, and generally monopolise the few inches of newsprint dedicated to literature on, and off, the shrinking literary pages.
Something about the short story is best suited to modesty, subtlety and the sharp prick or turn of the screw rather than the sometimes over-reaching ambitions of novelists to furnish us with a State of the Nation portrait. It’s almost as if the short story by-passed the longuers and the preoccupations with character and naturalistic narrative of 19th century literature and arrived fully formed as an early Modernist form, with Poe, Mansfield, Chekhov and Guy de Maupassant as its principal masters.
Our next monthly Faber Social on 2nd September, in association with Small Wonder Short Story Festival, is dedicated to the short story and the contemporary voices we love writing, and performing (and that’s something we often forget: short stories are perfect for public performance, being – mostly – short, dramatic, and self-contained) today. To tempt you along here are three stories by two published and prize-winning writers and one, as yet, unpublished, who will also be reading. Do join us in celebrating the charm, formal inventiveness, and explosive energy of the short story at Faber Social.
Read Winter Luxury Pie from I Could Ride All Day In My Cool Blue Train by Peter Hobbs here.
Read Verge by Will Burns here.
Read Torgren’s Travels from Petit Mal by DBC Pierre here.