Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Resurgence of the short story

A few years ago short stories were commonly seen as a safe and unexciting form, says Annie Kirby in The Guardian. But the mood has changed, helped by several major new short story prizes.
Far from being safe, the short story is hazardous territory for writers, the degree of risk inversely proportional to the word count. There is room for forgiveness in a novel, but botch a sentence in a 500-word story and there is no space to recover. There is also risk in the necessary ambiguity of short stories. The writer, with so little time to tell the tale, must trust the reader to take responsibility for filling in the gaps.

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