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Short Story Month

Our Book Buyer/Merchandiser, Kelly, is a huge fan of short stories, and is always trying to get more people to give them a shot. This May, we’re excited to have her bring you a new recommendation each day for a short story collection, author, or genre you should give a try!


 

May 29
Flannery O’Connor

An icon of the Southern Gothic tradition, Flannery O’Connor made a huge impact on American literature. Her writing frequently featured the grotesque and centered around themes of morality.  Her stories carry her singular voice, and her Complete Stories was the recipient of the National Book Award in 1972, cementing her place as a monumental figure in the short story world.

The Complete Stories (FSG Classics) Cover Image
By Flannery O'Connor, Robert Giroux (Introduction by)
$18.00
ISBN: 9780374515362
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - January 1st, 1971

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A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories Cover Image
By Flannery O'Connor, Lauren Groff (Introduction by)
$15.99
ISBN: 9780358139560
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - December 10th, 2019

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Everything That Rises Must Converge: Stories (FSG Classics) Cover Image
By Flannery O'Connor, Robert Fitzgerald (Introduction by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780374504649
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux -

May 28
Carmen Maria Machado

This book made a huge splash when it was released, becoming a surprise finalist for the National Book Award, and even reading it at the height of its buzz it blew me away.  Here’s what I had to say about it:

An astounding debut from a talented author, this collection of stories is original, inventive, and wholly mesmerizing.  Beautifully written with a dark and exhilarating edge, each tale vibrates with its own brilliant ferocity.  Seamlessly blending aspects of realism and fantasy, the book also effortlessly manages to be funny, insightful, terrifying, and relatable.

 

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Her Body and Other Parties: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977887
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Graywolf Press - October 3rd, 2017

May 27
Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Yellow Wall-Paper is a story I vividly remember reading in high school, and this gorgeous new edition of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s work makes me excited to dive into more of her writing.  This volume not only includes her most well-know short stories, but a novel and some poetry, all of which is rooted in her frustration with the typical gender roles of the time.

The Yellow Wall-Paper and Selected Writings (Penguin Vitae) Cover Image
By Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Kate Bolick (Introduction by)
$28.00
ISBN: 9780143134794
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Classics - February 25th, 2020

May 26
Anthony Marra

A favorite of our COO, Lori, this is a collection that has been very popular with both individuals and book clubs here at the store. Here’s what Lori thought about it:

Brilliance--once again! If you read Constellation of Vital Phenomenon, you must read this! (If not--read both!) I love how Anthony Marra not only writes these Russian short stories--spanning hundreds of years--but he finds ways, sometimes extremely subtle, to weave a story in itself between them! Some heart-breaking, many thought-provoking!
 

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The Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780770436452
Availability: Backordered
Published: Hogarth - July 19th, 2016

May 25
Jhumpa Lahiri

This is a favorite story collection of several booksellers in the store, and the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. When it was first released, Michiko Kakutani noted in The New York Times that it was easy to forget that it was Lahiri’s first book because her “prose is so eloquent and assured”. It was the beginning of many impressive publications for Lahiri, including the translations of some Italian works to English!

Interpreter of Maladies Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780358213260
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - October 22nd, 2019

May 24
Madeleine L’Engle

This posthumous collection of stories from the author perhaps most famous for A Wrinkle in Time captures the spirituality, artistry, philosophy, and science-mindedness of so many of her works.  L’Engle proved herself to be a master of many areas of writing, and this would be a great volume to pick up for anyone who hasn’t yet read her work.

The Moment of Tenderness Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781538717820
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - April 21st, 2020

May 23
Roxane Gay

In her remarkable and insightful new collection of short stories, Roxane Gay makes it clear that being a "difficult" woman carries no shame. Her characters are painted as complicated, strong, beautiful, flawed and very, very real. Hauntingly raw and powerfully written, the stories range from realistic to fantastic, but are all unfailingly rooted in a relatable humanity. An engineer tries to find her place in foreign and frigid Upper Michigan. A woman made of glass struggles with her husband's careful version of love. A mother is separated from her son after a new civil war divides America.  These women struggle with pain, forgiveness, grief, love, and acceptance, and they have stayed with me long after I finished reading.

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Difficult Women Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802127372
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - November 14th, 2017

May 22
Sherwood Anderson

I’ve heard our Head Buyer, Andrew, rave about this book many times, and each time it makes me think of all the fiction that has followed in its footsteps. Here’s what Andrew says:

My father recommended this to me when I was in high school.  I was on a short story kick.  When I was finished with it, I knew I had just read a singular and timeless book.  A seminal work of Modernist Literature, Winesburg, Ohio weaves a portrait of small town America through interconnected short stories.  Today, this is a common storytelling technique, but Sherwood Anderson was breaking new ground when he wrote this in the teens.  Character driven, small yet with epic impact, it is a book you will remember for the rest of your life.
 

Winesburg, Ohio Cover Image
By Sherwood Anderson, Malcolm Cowley (Introduction by)
$10.00
ISBN: 9780140186550
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Classics - September 1st, 1992

May 21
Edwodge Danticat

National Book Award finalist Edwidge Danticat has been writing impactful, stirring fiction and nonfiction for years, much of which is focused on her native Haiti and the Haitian diaspora. I had the pleasure of meeting her a few years ago, and she is as brilliant in person as her writing is on the page. 

Everything Inside: Stories Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780525521273
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - August 27th, 2019

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Krik? Krak! Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781616957001
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Soho Press - December 15th, 2015

May 20
Shirley Jackson

Through her relatively short life, Shirley Jackson wrote over two hundred short stories, including “The Lottery”, which remains one of the most well-known stories in American literature, and caused quite a stir upon its publication in The New Yorker in 1948. This edition also contains twenty-four of her other unique, unsettling stories.

The Lottery and Other Stories (FSG Classics) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250239365
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador Modern Classics - September 24th, 2019

May 19
Raphael Bob-Waksberg

This debut story collection, written by an insanely creative TV showrunner, is one of the most unique books I’ve read in years. Here’s what I said about it when I first read it:

From the creator of BoJack Horseman, this exceptionally unique and witty collection of love stories oozes Bob-Waksberg's sense of bleak whimsy.  Perfectly suited for anyone who hides their romantic side with cynicism, these stories will have you laughing through painfully relatable moments and crying in the midst of hilariously absurd situations.  Brilliant!
 

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Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525432722
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Published: Vintage - May 19th, 2020

May 18
Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton may be best known by many for her novels, which have remained highly read classics, but she was an equally prolific writer of short stories. With an uncanny eye for capturing the societal flaws of New York’s Gilded Age, she was a groundbreaking writer with a well-deserved legacy.

The New York Stories of Edith Wharton Cover Image
By Edith Wharton, Roxana Robinson (Introduction by), Roxana Robinson (Compiled by)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781590172483
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: NYRB Classics - October 9th, 2007

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The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780684842578
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - October 10th, 1997

May 17
Zadie Smith

Any new book by Zadie Smith is cause for celebration, and her newest, Grand Union, adds a collection of stories to her repertoire of novels and essays. Praised for her vibrancy and versatility, Smith continues to be one of the most impactful writers at work today.

Grand Union: Stories Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525558996
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Press - October 8th, 2019

May 16
Neil Gaiman

As short story month was coming up, I knew I could count on our receiver, Matt, to rave about his favorite collection of stories. It’s not uncommon to see him revisiting the pages of this book as it comes across his desk. Here’s what he told me about it:

Fragile Things is so powerfully uncomfortable, I had to put it down until I literally forgot why I stopped reading it. Contains my favorite short story, "Other People."
 

Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780061252020
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - October 2nd, 2007

May 15
N.K. Jemisin

This is three-time Hugo Award winner N.K. Jemisin’s first collection of stories, and it shows that the highly respected fantasy novelist is equally adept when it comes to short fiction.  Her work, while still in the realm of science fiction and fantasy, masterfully reflects many aspects of the world in which we live. 

How Long 'til Black Future Month?: Stories Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316491372
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Orbit - August 13th, 2019

May 14
Lucia Berlin

Lucia Berlin’s stories have seen a resurgence of popularity in the past few years- and for good reason. Roxanne loved A Manual for Cleaning Women, and my first exposure to her writing was Evening in Paradise, which left me wanting to devour all of her work. Here’s what I had to say about the collection:

An absolutely masterful writer of short stories, Lucia Berlin has recently found widespread posthumous acclaim. The stories contained in this most recent volume of her work are observant, funny, touching, and full of life. Berlin's fiction borrows heavily from her own experiences, which brings a relatable truth to the lives of her protagonists, and her stunning prose is particularly effective at capturing feelings of alienation and loneliness. Her work is not to be missed.
 

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A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250094735
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - August 2nd, 2016

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Evening in Paradise: More Stories Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250234865
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Picador - November 5th, 2019

May 13
Julie Hecht

Today’s pick is a throwback to one of Roxanne’s favorites- a hilarious collection of linked stories by Julie Hecht, a longtime contributor to The New Yorker before publishing her debut Do the Windows Open? in 1997. In a starred review, Publisher’s Weekly said, “Some of the stories may remind the reader of a long phone conversation with a batty, obsessed neighbor who doesn't know when to hang up. You may breathe a little sigh of relief when they're over--but then again, her point of view is so entertaining, you can't wait for her to call back.”

Do the Windows Open? Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780140271454
Availability: Special Order
Published: Penguin Books - February 1st, 1998

May 12
Richard Ford

Because May is short story month, there are always some exciting new stories being released. Perhaps the biggest name with a new selection for us this year is Richard Ford, whose collection out today has gathered rave reviews from both The Wall Street Journal and Kirkus, the latter of which said, "Powerfully unsettling stories in which men nearing the end of their lives wonder, befuddled, if that's all there is."

Sorry for Your Trouble: Stories Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062969804
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - May 12th, 2020

May 11
YA Anthologies

I don’t think I’ll ever truly grow out of my appreciation for young adult fiction. One way that I’ve discovered some authors that I’ve really loved is through anthologies, many of which have very charming themes, and a great mix of writing styles and genres!

Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781250079138
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - June 13th, 2017

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Meet Cute Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781328604286
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - May 21st, 2019

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Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy Cover Image
By Amerie, Amerie (Editor)
$9.99
ISBN: 9781681197906
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury YA - July 10th, 2018

May 10
Andre Dubus

Andre Dubus, who died in 1999, is considered by many to be a short story master.  In an ambitious project, David R. Godine, Publisher, a small publishing house to whom Dubus was loyal for much of his career, released in 2018 three volumes of his stories, the third volume containing previously uncollected works. 

We Don't Live Here Anymore: Collected Short Stories and Novellas, Volume 1 Cover Image
By Andre Dubus, Ann Beattie (Introduction by)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781567926163
Availability: Special Order
Published: David R. Godine Publisher - June 28th, 2018

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The Winter Father: Collected Short Stories and Novellas, Volume 2 Cover Image
By Andre Dubus, Richard Russo (Introduction by)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781567926170
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: David R. Godine Publisher - June 20th, 2018

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The Cross Country Runner: Collected Short Stories and Novellas Volume 3 Cover Image
By Andre Dubus, Tobias Wolff (Introduction by)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781567926279
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: David R. Godine Publisher - October 18th, 2018

May 9
Lorrie Moore

Lorrie Moore is an acclaimed author of short stories, novels, and essays. Top critics have described her story collections as “resonant”, “lyrical and prickly”, and “beguiling”.  Just this year, Everyman’s Library collected forty of her stories into one volume for the serious short story enthusiast!

Collected Stories (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics Series) Cover Image
By Lorrie Moore, Lauren Groff (Introduction by)
$27.00
ISBN: 9780375712388
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Everyman's Library - March 3rd, 2020

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Birds of America: Stories (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307474964
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - January 12th, 2010

May 8
Denis Johnson

Denis Johnson is another short story writer with a huge reputation- and one I’ve yet to read myself! However, here’s what Mandy had to say when his posthumous collection The Largesse of the Sea Maiden was released:

Denis Johnson perfectly captures the essence of the down-and-out, the drifter, and the outcast. He has a way of pulling you in and completely immersing you in the tales he is telling. For long time fans his last collection of stories will leave you feeling satisfied. For first timers -- you will want to devour everything he has ever written. Denis Johnson is a master storyteller.
 

Jesus' Son: Stories (Picador Modern Classics) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781250074805
Availability: Special Order
Published: Picador Modern Classics - November 3rd, 2015

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The Largesse of the Sea Maiden: Stories Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812988659
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - January 8th, 2019

May 7
The Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories

This is the follow up to Penguin’s equally stunning book of Japanese short stories, and we loved it so much here at the store that we made it one of our featured holiday picks for 2019. Here’s what I wrote about it then:

This remarkable volume covers over a hundred years of Italian literature and many of the forty stories featured have been translated into English for the very first time. Jhumpa Lahiri, a talented writer and translator, has chosen works from both well-known and more obscure writers, while presenting a wide range of Italian voices and experiences. Each author is thoughtfully introduced before you dive into their work. This beautiful edition deserves a place of prominence on the shelf of any lover of literature.     

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The Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories (A Penguin Classics Hardcover) Cover Image
By Jhumpa Lahiri (Editor), Jhumpa Lahiri (Introduction by)
$30.00
ISBN: 9780241299838
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Classics - September 10th, 2019

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The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories (A Penguin Classics Hardcover) Cover Image
By Jay Rubin (Translated by), Jay Rubin (Editor), Jay Rubin (Notes by), Haruki Murakami (Introduction by)
$30.00
ISBN: 9780141395623
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Classics - September 11th, 2018

May 6
George Saunders

George Saunders has received numerous awards and fellowships for his short story writing, and Tenth of December, in particular, is a favorite of many.  In Michiko Kakutani’s words, “It’s a measure of Mr. Saunders’s talents as a writer- his brassy language, his narrative instincts, his bone-deep understanding of his characters- that he takes what might have been a contrived and sentimental parable and turns it into a visceral and moving act of storytelling.”

Tenth of December: Stories Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812984255
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - January 7th, 2014

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In Persuasion Nation Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781594482427
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - March 6th, 2007

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Pastoralia Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781573228725
Availability: Backordered
Published: Riverhead Books - June 1st, 2001

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CivilWarLand in Bad Decline: Stories and a Novella Cover Image
By George Saunders, Joshua Ferris (Introduction by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812987683
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - April 26th, 2016

May 5
Orange World and Other Stories

Today marks the paperback release of Karen’s Russell’s most recent story collection. Orange World and Other Stories was the first of Russell’s work that I’d read, and I’ll be celebrating short story month this year by treating myself to her two other collections! Here’s what I wrote about Orange World a year ago:

While these exquisite short stories are all grounded in the real world, they take the reader beyond the expected, into imaginatively off-kilter circumstances.  Russell is a master of weaving together imagery and language into a remarkable tapestry, while delicately maintaining the fundamental relatability of her stories.  A truly impressive and transfixing collection that pushes the boundaries of fiction in the most satisfying ways.
 

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Orange World and Other Stories (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525566076
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - May 5th, 2020

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Vampires in the Lemon Grove: And Other Stories (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307947475
Availability: Backordered
Published: Vintage - January 14th, 2014

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St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307276674
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - August 14th, 2007

May 4
Award Winning Anthologies

Short story anthologies are a great way to discover new authors you haven’t yet tried- or maybe haven’t ever heard of! Anthologies have a great mix of themes, genres, and voices to explore, and may launch you into a new realm of literary interest.

Pen America Best Debut Short Stories 2019 Cover Image
By Carmen Maria Machado (Editor), Danielle Evans (Editor), Alice Sola Kim (Editor)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781948226349
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Catapult - August 20th, 2019

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The Best American Short Stories 2019 (The Best American Series ®) Cover Image
By Anthony Doerr (Editor), Heidi Pitlor (Editor)
$15.99
ISBN: 9781328484246
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - October 1st, 2019

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The O. Henry Prize Stories 100th Anniversary Edition (2019) (The O. Henry Prize Collection) Cover Image
By Laura Furman (Editor)
$15.95
ISBN: 9780525565536
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - September 10th, 2019

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Pushcart Prize XLlV: Best of the Small Presses 2020 Edition Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781888889963
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pushcart Press - December 10th, 2019

May 3
Exhalation

Months after its publication last year, Ted Chiang’s Exhalation made the “Best of 2019” lists of most major publications, and cemented itself as essential reading for both science fiction fans and wider audiences.  The New York Times said, “these stories are carefully curated into a conversation that comes full circle, after having traversed extraordinary terrain.”

Exhalation: Stories Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781101947883
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - May 7th, 2019

May 2
The Trojan War Museum

For me, Ayşe Papatya Bucak’s debut was the kind of book that convinced me instantly that I’d ready anything that this author would put in front of me. Here’s what I wrote about it when I first read it last year:

This debut story collection impressed me deeply.  The stories within feel both modern and traditional, and are each unique and interesting, with a sly sense of humor woven throughout.  The author's inventiveness delighted me, although all her stories remain grounded in history and humanity.  You won't regret picking this book up for even a moment.
 

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The Trojan War Museum: and Other Stories Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781324002970
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 20th, 2019

May 1
Alice Munro

When I’m asked to recommend short stories to someone looking for a good place to start, I always include Alice Munro. Munro was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013 as a “master of the contemporary short story”, and is a literary legend in her native Canada and around the world.  In the words of The New York Times Book Review, “As is so often the case now in Munro’s fiction, the drama sneaks up and then slips past almost before you’re aware of it.”

Dear Life: Stories (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307743725
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - July 30th, 2013

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Runaway (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781400077915
Availability: Backordered
Published: Vintage - November 8th, 2005

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Family Furnishings: Selected Stories, 1995-2014 (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781101872352
Availability: Backordered
Published: Vintage - September 15th, 2015