R Austin Freeman

The Aluminium Dagger

Taken from Classic Locked Room Mysteries (edited by David Stuart Davies)


Junot Diaz

The Pura Principle

Short story from This is How to Lose Her

printed in the `New Yorker in 2007.

Family relationships, a cultural melting pot, prejudice and tough love. Diaz captures the atmosphere well, with no frills and absolutely no sentimentality.

Available to read here

Junot Diaz


From This is How to Lose Here and published in the New Yorker 2007

Available to read  here

Warning – you may find the language and content offensive, but as a short story it is effective and has impact,


Tom Drury

The Yellow Wall Paper

Another core version of Charlotte Perkins-Gilman’s short story of the same name, taken from McSweeney, Issue 49, Cover Stories.


Meg Wolitzer

If You’re Happy and You Know It (after J D Salinger’s A Perfect Day for Banana Fish).

This story is part of McSweeney’s Cover Stories (issue 49), in which contemporary writers take a well known short story and, guess what, cover it.

I wondered how anyone would go about doing that for A Perfect Day for Banana Fish, and I’m pleased to say that, whilst it’s a faint shadow of the original, it’s not a mash up either.  it’s been simplified so the message is louder and more in your face and aspects of the story have been omitted. I hadn’t heard of Meg Wolitzer so wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’m off to google her now.

I’m not sure yet how I feel about cover stories in general, but I’m about to find out as I work my easy through the collection.


James Joyce (1892 – 1941)


Taken from The Dubliners, 1914

Maria – who helps everybody, giving of her tim and her affection.  Destined to resin alone. The good old Irish laundry features.


Richard Lambert

The Hazel Twig and the Olive Tree

Shortlisted for the Sunday Times Short Story Award, 2017.

A cleverly constructed piece, drawing on all things Borges, in an academic style. Stick with it – it’s worth the effort.


Celeste Ng

Every Little Thing

Sunday Times Short Story Competition – shortlisted entry, 2017


Bret Anthony

Half of What Atlee Rouse Knows About Horses

Sunday Time Short Story Winner, 2017



Yiyun Li

A Sheltered Woman

Sunday Times Short Story Winner 2015.

A hundred and thirty one babies, cared for for just one month, and acting as protection for  loneliness.