Tuesday, June 12, 2007

In praise of the short story

There is a thought provoking piece in The Independent by A L Kennedy in defence of the short story. She is one of the judges for a literature prize for short stories and is pleased to report that the genre is alive and well. But she wonders why there continues to be such a bad perception of the short story and why people link it with a childish way of expressing emotions.

"The short story - it gets a bad press. Well, mainly it gets no press at all, which is worse. But if it ever is discussed, the short story is usually dismissed as the commercially untouchable equivalent of finger-painting."

Radio 4 carried out a short story competition recently which might also have helped increase the profile of the style.

Having read a fair few short story collections over my lunchtime reads I have to agree with Kennedy that they are very important and can satisfy in a way a novel cannot. Equally it shows off a different side to a writer that can increase your appreciation for them. Long live the short story!

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