That most exquisite of literary efforts – the well crafted short story.  Having been raised on a diet of Irish and Russian fairy stories along with a dollop of Roald Dahl, I have a special fondness for disaster, family betrayal and a black ending, all executed within a half hour read.

Toweringly brilliant are two volumes of the Granta Book of the American Short Story, collected by Richard Ford over the last couple of  decades.  They include old school authors Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Connor, John Cheever and Raymond Carver in the first book and more recent stories from Sherman Alexie, Junot Diaz, Deborah Eisenberg, Nell Freidenberg, Matt Klam, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Z.Z. Packer in the second.  See here for the full line-up.

book cover of   The New Granta Book of the American Short Story   by  Richard Ford