The 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature was recently given to Canadian author Alice Munro. As Munro is a writer of short stories, I would like to suggest a short story collection as a possible choice for one of your book club meetings. A short story collection can be a good choice especially for months when members are short on time: during the winter holidays or summer months. The group can choose to read a whole collection or just a few of the stories can be chosen. The following are some short story collection suggestions for book clubs: two by Munro, as well as some others by celebrated and well regarded short story stylists.
The Love of a Good Woman by Alice Munro (1998) A collection of eight stories explores such themes as the complexities of love, the unexpected implications of passion, and the strange, frequently whimsical desires of the human heart. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Dear Life: Stories by Alice Munro (2012) Munro [has the] peerless ability to give us the essence of a life in often brief but always spacious and timeless stories … she illumines the moment a life is forever altered by a chance encounter or an action not taken, or by a simple twist of fate that turns a person out of his or her accustomed path and into a new way of being or thinking.
Birds of America by Lorrie Moore (1998) [In] stories remarkable in their range, emotional force, and dark laughter, and in the sheer beauty and power of their language… Moore explores the personal and the universal, the idiosyncratic and the mundane, with all the wit, brio, and verve that have made her one of the best storytellers of our time. National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist.
Tenth of December by George Saunders (2013) One of the most important and blazingly original writers of his generation, George Saunders is an undisputed master of the short story, and Tenth of December is his most honest, accessible, and moving collection yet. These stories take on the big questions and explore the fault lines of our own morality, delving into the questions of what makes us good and what makes us human. 2013 National Book Award Finalist.
The Lottery; and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson (various dates) The Lottery, one of the most terrifying stories written in this century, created a sensation when it was first published in The New Yorker. This collection, the only one to appear during Shirley Jackson’s lifetime, unites The Lottery with twenty-four equally unusual stories. Together they demonstrate Jackson’s remarkable range–from the hilarious to the truly horrible–and power as a storyteller.
As always, Syosset Public Library’s Readers’ Services Department would be glad help you obtain enough books as well as do any background research you might need for your meeting.
– posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services