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The nation’s favourite annual guide to the short story, now in its seventh year.
Best British Short Stories invites you to judge a book by its cover – or more accurately, by its title. This critically acclaimed series aims to reprint the best short stories published in the previous calendar year by British writers, whether based in the UK or elsewhere. The editor’s brief is wide ranging, covering anthologies, collections, magazines, newspapers and web sites, looking for the best of the bunch to reprint all in one volume.
Featuring stories by Jay Barnett, Peter Bradshaw, Rosalind Brown, Krishan Coupland, Claire Dean, Niven Govinden, Françoise Harvey, Andrew Michael Hurley, Daisy Johnson, James Kelman, Giselle Leeb, Courttia Newland, Vesna Main, Eliot North, Irenosen Okojie, Laura Pocock, David Rose, Deirdre Shanahan, Sophie Wellstood and Lara Williams.
‘For those new to short stories, the quality and breadth of what is being showcased here, will not easily be bettered. Moreover, the experiential difference that contemporary short stories offer, when compared to novel reading – the unique register they can strike – makes this collection all the more valuable.’ —Bookmunch
‘Virtually every story in Best British Short Stories 2017 circles around something unspoken. This is not officially the theme of the collection, but it’s easy to read these pieces in dialogue with one another, as they explore what it means to be unspeakable.’ —Eleanor Franzén, Litro
‘I suspect that Nicholas Royle, editor of Best British Short Stories 2017, was mindful that he not only had to choose the “best” stories of the year, but also to create a book with some variety that would appeal to as many readers as possible. Consequently, of the twenty stories he chose, some had to be simple and straightforward, with clear, transparent prose and enough background explanatory context to be easily accessible to the reader, while others were inevitably elliptical and puzzling, drawing attention to the language itself, experimenting with form, and refusing to help the reader understand the significance of the story.’ —Charles May, Reading the Short Story
‘For those new to short stories, the quality and breadth of what is being showcased here, will not easily be bettered. Moreover, the experiential difference that contemporary short stories offer, when compared to novel reading – the unique register they can strike – makes this collection all the more valuable.’ —Tamim Sadikali, Bookmunch
‘This annual feast satisfies again. Time and again, in Royle’s crafty editorial hands, closely observed normality yields (as Nikesh Shukla’s spear-fisher grasps) to the things we ‘cannot control’.’ —Boyd Tonkin, The Independent
‘Nicholas Lezard’s paperback choice: Hilary Mantel’s fantasia about the assassination of Margaret Thatcher leads this year’s collection of familiar and lesser known writers.’ —Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian
‘Another effective and well-rounded short story anthology from Salt – keep up the good work, we say!’ —Sarah-Clare Conlon, Bookmunch
‘It’s so good that it’s hard to believe that there was no equivalent during the 17 years since Giles Gordon and David Hughes’s Best English Short Stories ceased publication in 1994. The first selection makes a very good beginning … Highly Recommended.’ —Kate Saunders, The Times
‘When an anthology limits itself to a particular vintage, you hope it’s a good year. The Best British Short Stories 2014 from Salt Publishing presupposes a fierce selection process. Nicholas Royle is the author of more than 100 short stories himself, the editor of sixteen anthologies and the head judge of the Manchester Fiction Prize, which inspires a sense of confidence in his choices. He has whittled down this year’s crop to 20 pieces, which should enable everyone to find a favourite. Furthermore, his introduction points us towards magazines and small publishers producing the collections from which these pieces are chosen. If you like short stories but don’t know where to find them, this book is a gateway to wider reading.’ —Lucy Jeynes, Bare Fiction