Short stories are the feature of this month’s new ‘Other Genres’ fiction, and this selection of collections showcases the talent and skill of each author. Included is the New Zealand writer David McDougall’s collection, titled The Abyssinian mountain lion & other stories.
A manual for cleaning women : selected stories / Lucia Berlin ; edited and with an introduction by Stephen Emerson ; foreword by Lydia Davis.
“A collection of the best work of the legendary short-story writer Lucia Berlin. With the grit of Raymond Carver, the humor of Grace Paley, and a blend of wit and melancholy all her own, Berlin crafts miracles from the everyday, uncovering moments of grace in the Laundromats and halfway houses of the American Southwest, in the homes of the Bay Area upper class, among switchboard operators and struggling mothers, hitchhikers and bad Christians.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Your father sends his love / Stuart Evers.
“Eleven unforgettable stories of parental love and parental mistakes. Set in the past, present and future, they are unified by their compassion, animated by the unsaid and distinguished by how beautifully they extract the luminous from the ordinary.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Black glass : short fictions / Karen Joy Fowler.
“Black Glass showcases the extraordinary talents of this prizewinning author. In fifteen gemlike tales, her wit and vision roam freely, turning accepted norms inside out and fairy tales upside down, pushing us to reconsider our unquestioned verities and proving once again that she is among our most subversive writers.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The complete stories / Clarice Lispector ; translated from the Portuguese by Katrina Dodson ; introduction by Benjamin Moser ; edited by Benjamin Moser.
“For the first time in English, are all the Clarice Lispector stories that made her a Brazilian legend: from teenagers coming into awareness of their sexual and artistic powers to humdrum housewives whose lives are shattered by unexpected epiphanies to old people who don’t know what to do with themselves.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The Abyssinian mountain lion & other stories / David McDougall.
“David McDougall reintroduces the reader to that most excellent thing: the good yarn. Meet the neighbour with a war history who can’t help interfering with goings-on over the fence, a woman on a train who’ll go to any lengths to clear her student debt, a bunch of mates on a hunting trip who fear dire consequences after shooting a fantail, and a retired husband whose wife irons his shorts for Valentine’s Day and leaves him perplexed about how to return the favour. These are stories of humour and melancholy, love and vice.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Music for wartime : stories / Rebecca Makkai.
“This award-winning writer’s collection bears her signature mix of intelligence, wit, and heart. A reality show producer manipulates two contestants into falling in love, even as her own relationship falls apart. Just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a young boy has a revelation about his father’s past when a renowned Romanian violinist plays a concert in their home. When the prized elephant of a traveling circus keels over dead, the small-town minister tasked with burying its remains comes to question his own faith. In an unnamed country, a composer records the folk songs of two women from a village on the brink of destruction.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Three moments of an explosion : stories / China Miéville.
“The fiction of multiple award-winning author China Miéville is powered by intelligence and imagination, using a variety of genres with equal facility, employing the fantastic not to escape from reality, but instead to interrogate it in provocative, unexpected ways. Of such concepts and unforgettable images are made the twenty-eight stories in this collection. By turns speculative, satirical, and heart-wrenching, fresh in form and language, and featuring a cast of damaged yet hopeful seekers who come face-to-face with the deep weirdness of the world, and at times the deeper weirdness of themselves.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Viral : stories / Emily Mitchell.
“A strange guidebook tells foreign visitors how to travel in a recognizable but dreamlike United States where mirrors are haunted and the Statue of Liberty wears a bowler hat; a supervisor in a department store must discipline his employees for failing to smile enough at their customers and finds himself unexpectedly drawn to the saddest of them all; a woman agrees to buy her daughter a robot pet to help her cope after a divorce, then is horrified when her little girl chooses an enormous spider for a companion. The characters in these mesmerizing stories find that the world they thought they knew has shifted and changed, become bizarre, disorienting, and, occasionally, miraculous. Told with absurdist humor and sweet sadness, is about being lost in places that are supposed to feel like home.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
A Paris affair / Tatiana de Rosnay ; translated from the French by Sam Taylor.
“This collection of eleven stories examines our most intimate and forbidden desires. What takes place in Paris when husbands and wives tangle with infidelity?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
The All Saints’ Day lovers / Juan Gabriel Vasquez ; translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean.
“Achingly sad and beautifully crafted, The All Saints’ Day Lovers is a remarkable and intense exploration of relationships, loneliness and cruelty. The seven stories are set mainly in the starkly beautiful landscape of Belgium’s Ardennes. A Colombian writer is witness to a murder which will mark him forever. A woman sits alone in her house, waiting for her husband to return, while he lies in another woman’s bed twenty kilometers away.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)