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The Best British Short Stories


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An assiduous champion of the short story -- Laurence Phelan Independent on Sunday Some pairings can be relied upon - literature and life, Steptoe and Son, Lennon and McCartney, Nicholas Royle and a good anthology. -- Andrew O'Hagan

Table of Contents

  • Flora - David Rose
  • Winter Break - Hilary Mantel
  • Emergency Exit - Lee Rourke
  • Love Silk Food - Leone Ross
  • Feather Girls - Claire Massey
  • Foreigner - Christopher Burns
  • Dinner of the Dead Alumni - Adam Marek
  • The Swimmer - SJ Butler
  • So Much Time in a Life - Heather Leach
  • Staff Development - Alan Beard
  • The Rental Heart - Kirsty Logan
  • Notes on a Love Story - Philip Langeskov
  • No Angel - Bernie McGill
  • Slut's Hair - John Burnside
  • Comma - Hilary Mantel
  • Moving Day - Robert Edric
  • Tristram and Isolde - Michele Roberts
  • Looted - Dai Vaughan
  • When the Door Closed, It Was Dark - Alison Moore
  • Epiphany - Salley Vickers

About the Author

Nicholas Royle was born in Manchester in 1963. He is the author of seven novels, including: Counterparts, Saxophone Dreams, and First Novel, and a short story collection, Mortality. He has edited sixteen anthologies, including A Book of Two Halves and Neonlit: Time Out Book of New Writing. He lives between London and Manchester and teaches creative writing at MMU.


Slip this lightweight but nourishing anthology into your holiday bag. Editor Royle has selected 20 published stories from British writers. His own (excellent) taste means that little explosions of weirdness or transcendence often erupt amid much well-observed everyday life.

-- Boyd Tonkin * The Independent *

It's so good that it's hard to believe that there was no equivalent during the 17 years since Giles Gordon and David Hughes's Best English Short Stories ceased publication in 1994. The first selection makes a very good beginning ... Highly Recommended.

-- Kate Saunders * The Times *

The collection illustrates just how vibrant and varied the UK short story writing scene is ... each is well crafted and there's much breadth in terms of style, tone and theme - running from love to war and covering everything in between.

-- Sarah-Clare Conlon * Bookmunch *

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