This month’s short stories column is now up at PopMatters. Inspired by Vera Tobin’s recent book, Elements of Surprise, about the “well-made” surprise in fiction (books and movies), these five literary selections give us unexpected surprises or twists done skillfully.

As always, the stories are free to read online and by these terrific writers: Alice Munro, Jorge Luis Borges, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Lee Martin, Jennifer Lynne Christie.

Read the full column at PopMatters.

Enjoy. Feel free to share your favorite stories (books or movies) with surprises/twists below. And please do share this with other readers. Thanks.

4 thoughts on “Published: Short Stories: Surprises and Twists

    1. I think I’ve read an excerpt or two of her writing but keep meaning to get to her novels. Friends of mine put her up there with Octavia Butler, whose works I love. I’ll definitely get to Jemisin this year yet, especially with your friendly reminder now. 🙂 Thanks.


    1. True, Judith. Many still see surprises/twists as shallow gimmicks. That’s why I really enjoyed Vera Tobin’s book on this. She showed how it is a skill and many literary writers have done surprises/twists very well.


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