Publication Date
Publication Status
Best British Short Stories
Fiction anthologies
Short stories
Trim Size
198 x 129mm

Best British Short Stories 2016


The nation’s favourite annual guide to the short story, now in its sixth year.

Best British Short Stories invites you to judge a book by its cover – or more accurately, by its title. This new 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.

This new anthology includes stories by: Claire-Louise Bennett, Neil Campbell, Crista Ermiya, Stuart Evers, Trevor Fevin, David Gaffney, Janice Galloway, Jessie Greengrass, Kate Hendry, Thomas McMullan, Graham Mort, Ian Parkinson, Tony Peake, Alex Preston, Leone Ross, John Saul, Colette Sensier, Robert Sheppard, DJ Taylor, Greg Thorpe and Mark Valentine.

Table of Contents

  • Nicholas Royle – Introduction
  • Leone Ross – The Woman Who Lived in a Restaurant
  • Robert Sheppard – Arrivals
  • Mark Valentine – Vain Shadows Flee
  • Jessie Greengrass – The Politics of Minor Resistance
  • Trevor Fevin – Walsingham
  • Ian Parkinson – A Belgian Story
  • DJ Taylor – Some Versions of Pastoral
  • Colette Sensier – Mrs Świętokrzyskie’s Castle
  • Neil Campbell – A Leg to Stand On
  • Alex Preston – Wyndham Le Strange Buys the School
  • John Saul – Song of the River
  • Greg Thorpe – 1961
  • Crista Ermiya – 1977
  • David Gaffney – The Staring Man
  • Tony Peake – The Bluebell Wood
  • Kate Hendry – My Husband Wants to Talk to Me Again
  • Graham Mort – In Theory, Theories Exist
  • Claire-Louise Bennett – Control Knobs
  • Thomas McMullan – The Only Thing Is Certain Is
  • Stuart Evers – Live from the Palladium
  • Janice Galloway – Distance
  • Contributors’ Biographies
  • Acknowledgements

Reviews of this Book

‘If the latest iteration of Salt’s Best British Short Stories collection is anything to go by then the genre remains in safe hands. Whether safety is what we ought to demand of our writers, particularly in this traditionally experimental genre, is another question entirely. This is not to say that the collection is devoid of innovation: Ian Parkinson’s “A Belgian Story” is at once an allegory for contemporary debates surrounding immigration and the paranoid account of a deluded individual, and its success lies in the ambiguous tension between the two. John Saul’s “Song of the River” exhibits a Joycean fascination with the intersection between stories and songs.’ —Lawrence Foley, Times Literary Supplement

Praise for Previous Work

‘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

‘Another effective and well-rounded short story anthology from Salt – keep up the good work, we say!’ —Sarah-Clare Conlon, Bookmunch

‘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

‘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