Wednesday, 17 December 2008


BookFox's choices for best short story collections of 2008 include a number of books that were featured on The Roving Editor. It is especially gratifying to see Glen Pourciau's Invite on the list, as this a strong debut from one of the most interesting new writers to emerge this year.

Donald Ray Pollock has attracted more coverage than Glen, but he deserves all the praise he has received. The challenge for him now will be to produce a worthy follow-up to Knockemstiff. Nam Le's debut collection, The Boat, and Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth are also excellent choices.

One story I managed to overlook on its appearance in the New Yorker in September was 'The Noble Truths of Suffering' by Aleksandar Hemon. Set in Sarajevo, this is a darkly funny exploration of the writing life which shows how creativity can find inspiration in the midst of death, destruction and domesticity. I am grateful to another of our featured authors, Joshua Ferris, who has named it as 'the best story of the year' in Granta's year-end round-up.

I would welcome nominations from readers of their favourite writers of short fiction in 2008, or for names we should be looking out for in 2009. Judging by the interest I have had in my post on Wells Tower, I fully expect him to feature prominently in next year's literary lists.

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