This month's short story selections are up at PopMatters. Here are stories from Lucia Berlin, Na'am al-Baz, Mia Alvar, Hananah Zaheer, and Laura van den Berg — all looking at working women, whether white-collar, blue-collar, or the gig economy.
2018 has been a banner year for short story collections. There were many to pick from -- whether debut collections by first-time writers or new ones from seasoned practitioners. There were also a few posthumously-published ones. While it was difficult to select only 12, each one here is strikingly different and pushes the boundaries of both genres and storytelling. There are several other notable collections listed at the end as well.
This month's short stories column features parties. Stories by these five writers: Katherine Mansfield, Banaphool (tr. Arunava Sinha), Joshua Ferris, Nina McConigley, and Kirsten Valdez Quade. And the parties described — a summer garden party, an elaborate tea function, an intimate couples dinner, a themed pre-wedding get-together, and an annual blueberry celebration — are not only life-changing for the protagonists but they are also memorably unique for readers.