July 2021 favorites

July 2021

The July stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Blow-Up’ by Julio Cortázar
  2. ‘The Secret Miracle’ by Jorge Luis Borges
  3. ‘Happy Birthday’ by Clarice Lispector
  4. ‘End Of The Game’ by Julio Cortázar
  5. ‘Lima, Peru, July 28, 1979’ by Daniel Alarcón
  6. ‘Balthazar’s Marvelous Afternoon’ by Gabriel García Márquez
  7. ‘I’m Your Horse In The Night’ by Luisa Valenzuela
  8. ‘Birds In The Mouth’ by Samanta Schweblin
  9. ‘The Smallest Woman In The World’ by Clarice Lispector
  10. ‘House Taken Over’ by Julio Cortázar
  11. ‘A Singular Occurrence’ by Machado de Assis
  12. ‘The Challenge’ by Mario Vargas Llosa
  13. ‘Absit’ by Angélica Gorodischer
  14. ‘The Lottery Ticket’ by Ventura García Calderón
  15. ‘Meat’ by Virgilio Piñera
  16. ‘The Chicken’ by Clarice Lispector
  17. ‘The Obedient Ones’ by Clarice Lispector
  18. ‘Letter To A Young Lady In Paris’ by Julio Cortázar
  19. ‘Decoration Day’ by Sarah Orne Jewett
  20. ‘Penelope’ by Dalton Trevisan
  21. ‘The Night Face Up’ by Julio Cortázar
  22. ‘The Dinner’ by Clarice Lispector
  23. ‘The Legend Of ‘El Cadejo’’ by Miguel Angel Asturias

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

June 2021 favorites

June 2021

The June stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘A Dedicated Man’ by Elizabeth Taylor
  2. ‘A Success Story’ by Margaret Drabble
  3. ‘Butcher’s Perfume’ by Sarah Hall
  4. ‘The Boots At The Holly-Tree Inn’ by Charles Dickens
  5. ‘An Abduction’ by Tessa Hadley
  6. ‘Crossing The Alps’ by Margaret Drabble
  7. ‘The Lumber-Room’ by Saki
  8. ‘Lappin And Lapinova’ by Virginia Woolf
  9. ‘Summer 1976’ by Chris Power
  10. ‘Mortmain’ by Graham Greene
  11. ‘The Spring Hat’ by H.E. Bates
  12. ‘A Day In The Life Of A Smiling Woman’ by Margaret Drabble
  13. ‘The Gifts Of War’ by Margaret Drabble
  14. ‘If It Keeps On Raining’ by Jon McGregor
  15. ‘She Said He Said’ by Hanif Kureishi
  16. ‘The Pier Falls’ by Mark Haddon
  17. ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses’ by Margaret Drabble
  18. ‘G-String’ by Nicola Barker
  19. ‘Louise’ by Somerset Maugham
  20. ‘Let Me Count The Times’ by Martin Amis
  21. ‘Wolf-Alice’ by Angela Carter
  22. ‘Nadine At Forty’ by Hilary Mantel

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

May 2021 favorites

May 2021

The May stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘The Swimming Contest’ by Benjamin Tammuz
  2. ‘Waiting’ by Amos Oz
  3. ‘Success’ by Adriana Lisboa
  4. ‘The Earthquake In Chile’ by Heinrich von Kleist
  5. ‘Civil Peace’ by Chinua Achebe
  6. ‘Remnants Of Carnival’ by Clarice Lispector
  7. ‘Boule de Suif’ by Guy de Maupassant
  8. ‘The Third Bank Of The River’ by João Guimarães Rosa
  9. ‘Only Orange’ by Camille Bordas
  10. ‘Heirs’ by Amos Oz
  11. ‘A Passion In The Desert’ by Honoré de Balzac
  12. ‘How Old Timofei Died With A Song’ by Rainer Maria Rilke
  13. ‘The Baby In Pink Tarlatan’ by Joaõ do Rio
  14. ‘The Path To The Cemetery’ by Thomas Mann
  15. ‘XII’ by Nathalie Sarraute
  16. ‘Fly Already’ by Etgar Keret
  17. ‘Why I Became A Nightingale’ by Wolfgang Hildesheimer

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

April 2021 favorites

April 2021

The April stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘The Mother’ by Natalia Ginzburg
  2. ‘A Lodging For The Night’ by Robert Louis Stevenson
  3. ‘A Day In The Country’ by Dan Jacobson
  4. ‘The House Of The Famous Poet’ by Muriel Spark
  5. ‘The Clearing’ by Luisa Mercedes Levinson
  6. ‘The Life Of The Imagination’ by Nadine Gordimer
  7. ‘Doctors’ by Anneliese Mackintosh
  8. ‘Tony Takitani’ by Haruki Murakami
  9. ‘The Pet’ by Nadine Gordimer
  10. ‘The Tiger Of The Plains’ by Domingo Faustino Sarmiento
  11. ‘Crabs’ by Haruki Murakami
  12. ‘The Rise And Fall Of Sharpie Cakes’ by Haruki Murakami
  13. ‘Night Calls’ by Lisa Fugard
  14. ‘As You Would Have Told It To Me (Sort Of) If We Had Known Each Other Before You Died’ by Jonas Hassen Khemiri
  15. ‘The Shinagawa Monkey’ by Haruki Murakami
  16. ‘The Yellow Paint’ by Robert Louis Stevenson
  17. ‘How To Travel With A Salmon’ by Umberto Eco
  18. ‘He Who Listens May Hear – To His Regret: Confidence Of A Confidence’ by Juana Manuela Gorriti
  19. ‘The Stump-Grubber’ by Torgny Lindgren
  20. ‘The Little Green Monster’ by Haruki Murakami
  21. ‘A Leading Role’ by Tove Jansson
  22. ‘The Braider’ by Ricardo Güiraldes

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

March 2021 favorites

March 2021

The March stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Lorry Raja’ by Madhuri Vijay
  2. ‘The Child’s Return’ by Rabindraneth Tagore
  3. ‘The Log’ by Guy de Maupassant
  4. ‘Alyosha The Pot’ by Leo Tolstoy
  5. ‘A Horse And Two Goats’ by R.K. Narayan
  6. ‘The Fashion Plate’ by Rhys Davies
  7. ‘Oysters’ by Anton Chekhov
  8. ‘The Tryst’ by Ivan Turgenev
  9. ‘A Russian Beauty’ by Vladimir Nabokov
  10. ‘Extraordinary Little Cough’ by Dylan Thomas
  11. ‘Roman Spring’ by Leslie Norris
  12. ‘The Golden Pony’ by Glyn Jones
  13. ‘His Excellency’ by Indro Montanelli
  14. ‘Madame de Luzy’ by Anatole France
  15. ‘A Small Sacrifice For An Enormous Happiness’ by Jai Chakrabarti
  16. ‘The State Of Nature’ by Camille Bordas
  17. ‘The Gentle Libertine’ by Colette
  18. ‘Love Far From Home’ by Italo Calvino
  19. ‘Jewellery’ by Alberto Moravia

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

February 2021 favorites

February 2021

The February stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘A Family Supper’ by Kazuo Ishiguro
  2. ‘Filling Up With Sugar’ by Yuten Sawanishi
  3. ‘A Perfect Day For Kangaroos’ by Haruki Murakami
  4. ‘The Rocking-Horse Winner’ by D.H. Lawrence
  5. ‘Gómez Palacio’ by Roberto Bolaño
  6. ‘Two Gentle People’ by Graham Greene
  7. ‘The Confession’ by Leïla Slimani
  8. ‘A Family Like Any Other’ by Carlos Fuentes
  9. ‘The Kangaroo Communiqué’ by Haruki Murakami
  10. ‘The Adopted Son’ by Guy de Maupassant
  11. ‘The Lazy River’ by Zadie Smith
  12. ‘I Arrive First’ by Emma Jane Unsworth
  13. ‘Saint Julian The Hospitaller’ by Gustave Flaubert
  14. ‘Tell Them Not To Kill Me!’ by Juan Rulfo
  15. ‘The Switchman’ by Juan José Arreola
  16. ‘Kew Gardens’ by Virginia Woolf
  17. ‘The Hammam’ by Hervé Guibert

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

January 2021 favorites

January 2021

The January stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘The Love Object’ by Edna O’Brien
  2. ‘Dandelion’ by Lore Segal
  3. ‘The Headstrong Historian’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  4. ‘The Black Monk’ by Anton Chekhov
  5. ‘Her Table Spread’ by Elizabeth Bowen
  6. ‘Cloud, Castle, Lake’ by Vladimir Nabokov
  7. ‘Modern Girls’ by Teju Cole
  8. ‘The Bound Man’ by Ilse Aichinger
  9. ‘The Married Couple’ by Franz Kafka
  10. ‘Everything’ by Ingeborg Bachmann
  11. ‘The Sacrificial Egg’ by Chinua Achebe
  12. ‘Phantoms’ by Ivan Turgenev
  13. ‘In The Shadow Of War’ by Ben Okri
  14. ‘The Hawk’ by Liam O’Flaherty
  15. ‘Work, Death, And Sickness’ by Leo Tolstoy
  16. ‘The Hotel’ by Anne Enright
  17. ‘Aspic’ by Tatyana Tolstaya

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

2020 favorites

2020 Favorites

Seven years in and going strong on the SSMT website.

It was a difficult 2020 all around. And as life got infinitely more stressful, the notion of having time to sit back and read a short story seemed comical.

But, I would argue, taking time to read a short story (at least every so often) becomes even more important during times of adversity. Art can lift us out of our own anxiety, away from our own grief, and give us someone else’s perspective. Getting out of your own head, even only temporarily, was essential self-care in 2020.

So in keeping with SSMT tradition, here is the annual list ranking the stories highlighted this year on the site, sorted in order of my own enjoyment.

And look for a new spin on things in 2021 here. Every week, we’ll be highlighting stories from a different country. After leaning overwhelmingly American for seven years, it seemed like it was well past time to expand my reading horizons. Can’t hurt to change things up for 2021.

So look forward to that, and have a happy new year! Continue reading

December 2020 favorites

December 2020

The December stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Mirrorball’ by Mary Gaitskill
  2. ‘Accident Brief’ by Karen Russell
  3. ‘The Unknown Masterpiece’ by Honoré de Balzac
  4. ‘Drinking Coffee Elsewhere’ by ZZ Packer
  5. ‘The Half-Husky’ by Margaret Laurence
  6. ‘Home For Christmas’ by Carson McCullers
  7. ‘Seven’ by Edwidge Danticat
  8. ‘A Room Forever’ by Breece D’J Pancake
  9. ‘The Weirdos’ by Ottessa Moshfegh
  10. ‘Irina’ by Mavis Gallant
  11. ‘The Lily-White Boys’ by William Maxwell
  12. ‘The Pocketbook Game’ by Alice Childress
  13. ‘The Dancer’ by Patricia Highsmith
  14. ‘The Yo-Yo’ by P.D. James
  15. ‘Temptation’ by Clarice Lispector
  16. ‘Ordinary Nudes’ by Stuart Dybek
  17. ‘Neighbors’ by Anthony Tognazzini
  18. ‘The Canebrake’ by Mohammed Mrabet
  19. ‘Odd Behavior’ by Lydia Davis
  20. ‘The Warmth Of Things’ by Nélida Piñón
  21. ‘Times’ by Ann Beattie

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

November 2020 favorites

November 2020

The November stories ordered solely on my personal tastes.

  1. ‘Love Letter’ by George Saunders
  2. ‘A Temporary Matter’ by Jhumpa Lahiri
  3. ‘The Lie’ by Maeve Brennan
  4. ‘The Dead’ by Joyce Carol Oates
  5. ‘The Lady With The Pet Dog’ by Joyce Carol Oates
  6. ‘The Clever One’ by Maeve Brennan
  7. ‘Going To Meet The Man’ by James Baldwin
  8. ‘Horses In The Night’ by Margaret Laurence
  9. ‘The Turn Of The Screw’ by Joyce Carol Oates
  10. ‘The Old Man Of The Sea’ by Maeve Brennan
  11. ‘The Metamorphosis’ by Joyce Carol Oates
  12. ‘The Devil In Us’ by Maeve Brennan
  13. ‘The Barrel Of Rumors’ by Maeve Brennan
  14. ‘Fern’ by Jean Toomer
  15. ‘John Inglefield’s Thanksgiving’ by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  16. ‘The Boy Who Painted Christ Black’ by John Henrik Clarke
  17. ‘Mouses’ by Thom Jones
  18. ‘Housewife’ by Amy Hempel
  19. ‘Where I Lived, And What I Lived For’ by Joyce Carol Oates
  20. ‘My Brother At The Canadian Border’ by Sholeh Wolpé

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.