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The Best British Short Stories


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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

  • Emma Jane Unsworth - I Arrive First
  • Robert Shearman - The Dark Space in the House in the House in the Garden at the Centre of the World
  • Stuart Evers - What's in Swindon?
  • HP Tinker - Alice in Time & Space and Various Major Cities
  • Jaki McCarrick - The Visit
  • Dan Powell - Half-mown Lawn
  • Julian Gough - 'I'm the Guy Who Wrote The Wild Bunch'
  • Joel Lane - Those Who Remember
  • Stella Duffy - To Brixton Beach
  • Socrates Adams - Wide and Deep
  • Jo Lloyd - Tarnished Sorry Open
  • Jonathan Trigell - Aperitifs With Mr Hemingway
  • Neil Campbell - Sun on Prospect Street
  • Ramsey Campbell - The Room Beyond
  • Will Self - iAnna
  • Alison MacLeod - The Heart of Denis Noble
  • Jon McGregor - We Wave and Call
  • Jeanette Winterson - All I Know About Gertrude Stein
  • Michael Marshall Smith - Sad, Dark Thing
  • AK Benedict - The Last Library

Promotional Information

Some pairings can be relied upon -- literature and life, "Steptoe and Son", Lennon and McCartney, Nicholas Royle and a good anthology. -- Andrew O'Hagan

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.


A good core sample [Helen Simpson's analogy for the short story] tells you "everything you need to know about the history and geography and inhabitants and social conditions of the area, in wonderfully concise form." Drawn from writers both famous and unknown, from printed sources, radio and the web, the stories in this collection, more often than not, do just that. -- Carol Birch The Times Literary Supplement Prepare to be amazed, horrified and delighted! From the quirkiness of Will Self's iAnna via the surrealism of HP Tinker's Alice in Time & Space and Various Major Cities and the pure, cinematic light of Stella Duffy's To Brixton Beach, to Jeanette Winterson's bold and exquisitely written All I Know About Gertrude Stein, this eclectic anthology encompasses an astonishing variety of style and content, bound together by two book-end pieces, each set in a library. -- Susan Haigh The Short Review

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