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December 8, 2010

Favorite Short Story Collections of 2010

Of all types of books, I love short story collections the most. These are the short fiction collections I have recommended most to blog readers, friends, and family throughout the year.

All links go to the authors' contributions to the Book Notes series or my 52 Books, 52 Weeks review. I have reposted my original review below each book.

What was your favorite short story collection of 2010?

Alone With You by Marisa Silver

Once again, Marisa Silver exceeds my already high expectations with her new short story collection, Alone With You. The eight stories in this slim volume brim with emotional intensity in their intimate portraits of love and family.

Death is Not an Option by Suzanne Rivecca

Suzanne Rivecca's short fiction has been praised by Lorrie Moore (who called her a "a wonderfully lively and fearless new writer") and earned numerous comparisons to the work of Mary Gaitskill.

Death is Not an Option is Rivecca's debut short story collection, and features seven tales of innocence and innocence lost. The understated elegance of Rivecca's prose perfectly suits the emotional heft of her themes, as does her sense of humor that balances out the darkness in these riveting stories.

Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever by Justin Taylor

In his debut short story collection, Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever, Justin Taylor captures the lives of his young characters vividly as they struggle in that precipice between childhood and adult life.

Mattaponi Queen by Belle Boggs

Simply put, Mattaponi Queen is one of the most striking debut story collections I have read in years. The stories in this collection are both grounded to a sense of place and vividly realized. Belle Boggs' talent in portraying domestic distress while also exploring themes of social unrest is estimable, I greatly look forward to reading more from this talented young author.

The Name of the Nearest River by Alex Taylor

Alex Taylor's debut short story collection The Name of the Nearest River gathers dark tales of rural Kentucky, of individuals caught in desperate situations. Taylor draws his characters so skillfully that even the most vile garner empathy from the reader.

Alex Taylor is a bold, new voice in American literature. Being Southern, comparisons to Flannery O'Connor and William Faulkner are inevitable, but his stories of small town Southern life manage to be both modern and classic at the same time and stand own their own.

Slut Lullabyes by Gina Frangello

Gina Frangello's Slut Lullabies is a collection, of raw, intense short stories. The characters' search for identity and honest interactions with each other will have you searching out more of the author's work. Always surprising, witty, and refreshingly frank, Slut Lullabies is one of the year's strongest collections of short fiction.

also at Largehearted Boy:

online "best of 2010" book lists

Largehearted Boy favorite graphic novels of 2010
Largehearted Boy favorite nonfiction of 2010
Largehearted Boy favorite novels of 2010

Largehearted Boy favorite short story collections of 2009
Largehearted Boy favorite short story collections of 2008

previous lists at Largehearted Boy
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
guest book reviews
musician/author interviews
52 Books, 52 Weeks book reviews