Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The joy of a good short story

The Swimmer by S J Butler is just one story in The Best British Short Stories 2011, selected by Nicholas Royle and  published by the redoubtable Salt Publishing, (who I can't recommend strongly enough, not just because they publish my daughter-in-law's poetry).So far, every story has been a fine example of the genre, and I am reading them slowly to savour each one.

What impresses me about The Swimmer is not only that it is a beautifully crafted story, and yes, it features a swan who is not the swimmer, but that it was the first story this writer has had published. Here she is, amongst some of the finest fiction writers around, such as Salley Vickers, Hilary Mantel, John Burnside and Michéle Roberts. I would be interested to know how she was chosen. I guess that Nicholas Royle read a great deal of stories in magazines and literary journals, before choosing this selection.

This piece by the anthologist is a thorough examination of the state of short story publishing today.  THRESHOLDS

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