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The Best Short Story Collections of all time

Book Listers UNITE!

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1EnriqueFreeque
Edited: Aug 16, 2008, 2:50pm Top

I could only muster up 58 volumes (could've come up with more had I used the same author's work more than once, which I arbitrarily chose not to). These aren't listed in any particular order, just jotted them down as they occurred to me. Anyone interested in adding to this list and help make it the top 100 short story collections of all time?

…Our Story Begins, Tobias Wolff
…Winner Take Nothing, Ernest Hemingway
…The Complete Short Stories, Guy De Maupassant
…The Short Stories, Anton Chekov
…A Good Man Is Hard To Find, Flannery O’Connor
…Interpreter Of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri
…Fierce, Hannah Holborn
…The Stories, John Cheever
…Oblivion, David Foster Wallace
…The Safety Of Objects, A.M. Homes
…The Complete Tales, Edgar Allan Poe
…Lost In The Funhouse, John Barth
…Pricksongs & Descants, Robert Coover
…Sixty Stories, Donald Barthelme
…In The Heart Of The Heart Of The Country, William H. Gass
…Cathedral, Raymond Carver
…Nine Stories, J.D. Salinger
…At The Mountains of Madness, H.P. Lovecraft
…The Collected Stories, Katharine Anne Porter
…Dubliners, James Joyce
…Labyrinths, Jorge Luis Borges
…The Collected Stories, Eudora Welty
…Close Range: Wyoming Stories, Annie Proulx
…The Little Disturbances of Man, Grace Paley
…The Metamorphosis & other stories, Franz Kafka
…Moral Disorder: Stories, Margaret Atwood
…Greasy Lake, T.C. Boyle
…Pastoralia, George Saunders
…The Girl In The Flammable Skirt, Aimee Bender
…Winesburg, Ohio, Sherwood Anderson
…Death In Venice & other stories, Thomas Mann
…The Complete Butcher’s Tales, Rikki DuCornet
…The Lottery & other stories, Shirley Jackson
How We Are Hungry, David Eggers
Collected Stories, John O’Hara
Selected Stories, Alice Munro
…The Collected Stories, Arthur C. Clarke
The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury
Night Shift, Stephen King
…Nightfall & other stories, Isaac Asimov
…Bloodchild & other stories, Octavia E. Butler
The Collection, Bentley Little
Books Of Blood, Clive Barker
100 Jolts: Shockingly Short Stories, Michael Arnzen
Starwater Strains, Gene Wolfe
Collected Stories, William Faulkner
…The Turn Of The Screw & other stories, Henry James
Goodbye, Columbus, Phillip Roth
…Tales & Sketches, Nathaniel Hawthorne
…The Collected Stories, William Trevor
…The Collected Stories, Isaac Bashevis Singer
…The Awakening & Selected Short Fiction, Kate Chopin
…The Collected Stories, Katharine Mansfield
The Sea Birds Are Still Alive: Stories, Toni Cade Bambara
The Troll Garden, Willa Cather
First Snow On Fuji, Yasunari Kawabata
…Death in Midsummer & other Stories,Yukio Mishima
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, Haruki Murakami

2Prop2gether
Edited: Aug 7, 2008, 2:08pm Top

How about

Cabbages and Kings
The Four Million

both collections of O. Henry stories. I don't believe either has "The Ransom of Red Chief" in it, but there's still plenty of heart in these collections.

Or

Selected Stories of Bret Harte

Both are favorites of mine, introduced to me by my parents long ago.

5bookchronicle
Aug 14, 2008, 1:39pm Top

And some more:
Magic For Beginners by Kelly Link
The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami

6Makifat
Aug 14, 2008, 1:44pm Top

Do they have to be by one author? If not, I would recommend the Black Water anthologies by Alberto Manguel.

7EnriqueFreeque
Aug 14, 2008, 10:52pm Top

Excellent everyone! By my count we're now up to 79 volumes. There's no rules, makifat, whatever you want to add feel free. I had set an arbitrary limitation on myself in order not to focus on my own personal favorite authors. I could've easily listed every collection of short stories ever published by Stephen King, but instead limited myself to what I believe to be his finest, Night Shift.

8TheTortoise
Aug 16, 2008, 6:59am Top

Here are five from my library:I have over 35 collections, I think.

W. Somerset Maugham: Complete Short Stories in 3 Volumes.
Noel Coward: The Complete Stories
D H Lawrence: The Collected Stories
P. G. Woodhouse: Jeeves Short Stories
Rudyard Kipling: Humorous Tales

9HannahHolborn
Aug 18, 2008, 7:13pm Top

Wonderful list & additions--and many thanks for adding Fierce, Lola! Some collections I'm passionate about are:

Some Rain Must Fall by Michel Faber

St. Lucy's School for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russel

Silent Girl by my good friend Tricia Dower

Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam

10slickdpdx
Edited: Sep 4, 2008, 3:28pm Top

11lquilter
Edited: Sep 4, 2008, 5:56am Top

I see a number of really award-winning and significant anthologies by women not yet included.

Ursula Le Guin has a couple that should make the list. I would include:
* Buffalo Gals and Other Animal Presences
* The Compass Rose
* The Wind's Twelve Quarters
although Le Guin has several others, including recently, that are excellent.

James Tiptree Jr. is regarded as a short story master. I would include:
* Her Smoke Rose Up Forever - John Clute described it as "one of the two or three most significant collections of short science fiction ever published."

Other Tiptree anthologies include:
* Ten Thousand Light-Years from Home
* Warm Worlds and Otherwise
* Star Songs of an Old Primate

Angela Carter should certainly be included. I would be hard-pressed to choose between:
* The Bloody Chamber
* Burning Your Boats (this isn't one of her original works, but a "the collected short stories" collection)
* Saints and Strangers
* Heroes and Villains
Octavia Butler's Bloodchild and Other Stories is an amazing collection of her short work.

Some others:
* The Country of the Pointed Firs and Other Stories by Sarah Orne Jewett
* The Woman Who Loved The Moon by Elizabeth A. Lynn

... There are also a variety of collections of related stories, such as Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser stories, Ursula K. Le Guin's Four Ways to Forgiveness; Jewel Gomez's The Gilda Stories; Sylvia Townsend Warner's Kingdoms of Elfin.

... It seems like most of the entries here are single-author collections; however, there are some anthologies. Probably worth clarifying.

... Finally, I also wonder whether it would be better to specify "original collections" otherwise, how could one avoid simply including "complete collection of..." books of major short story writers? (By "original collections" I mean those arranged by the author, as opposed to publishers' "Best of..." or "Complete Short Stories of ..." volumes. I do not mean to distinguish between collections of previously unpublished ("original") work and collections of previously published works.

12DanaJean
Feb 26, 2009, 8:47pm Top

13reconditereader
Feb 27, 2009, 12:31am Top

Come to Me by Amy Bloom

14tamangtrip
Edited: Mar 15, 2009, 11:40am Top

Wow, you should include Bernard Malamud's Magic Barrel and Idiots First.

15Salamantis
Jun 3, 2011, 9:41pm Top

Deathbird Stories by Harlan Ellison
Slow Learner by Thomas Pynchon
Welcome To The Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut
Music For Chameleons by Truman Capote
Stories Of Your Life And Others by Ted Chiang
Pump Six And Other Stories by Paolo Bacigalupi
Tales For The Long Rains by Kij Johnson
Revenge Of The Lawn by Richard Brautigan
No Place Like: Selcted Stories by Nadine Gordimer

17Sandydog1
Jun 18, 2011, 9:44am Top

I'm really enjoying some of Wendell Berry's simple, lyrical, agrarian stories, Fidelity: Five Stories right now.

And now for somethning completely different (from the above), try Chosen Pages of Lu Hsun.

18Cecrow
Edited: Jul 26, 2011, 10:56am Top

I don't think anyone's mentioned Jorge Luis Borges Ficciones (although now I see that his Labyrinths appeared on your list). And for an oddball entry, I found Majipoor Chronicles one of the best sci-fi/fantasy collection of shorts I've ever read.

19bookwoman247
Dec 30, 2011, 11:39am Top

I highly recommend Roman Fever and Other Stories by Edith Wharton be added to the list, even though we're already well over 100, by my estimation.

I was dellighted to see Labrynths by Jorge Luis Borges, and I was glad that someone mentioned Truman Capote.

20Cecrow
Jan 12, 2012, 8:15am Top

Came back to make sure Katharine Mansfield is on the list - yup, there she is. :)

21ltwesley
Aug 30, 2013, 3:45pm Top

One of the few things that I believed in the mid 1960's that I still believe today is that the greatest collection of short stories ever written by a single author is Bernard Malamud's The Magic Barrel. It exhibits one of our greatest writer's at the height of his powers.

22Cecrow
Mar 31, 2:53pm Top

Recently read Ficciones and it's become my new favourite short story collection.

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