Here are some more short stories that I have enjoyed reading and teaching:
One of King’s earlier works, this story explores a number of mysterious killings that plague a local town and university campus. It has a good twist at the end.
Shortlisted for the 2021 Caine prize, Hadero’s story reveals the strange world of NGOs and governmental agencies and how they impact upon the country that they work within. Getu, the main character, is a translator and fixer for international aid workers and the story focusses on the invisible barriers that separate him from his employers.
Exploring the nature of stereotypes and culture shock, this story follows a young Nigerian who emigrates to the US only to find herself disappointed by her new country.
Reports on the Shadow Industry by Peter Carey
Carey has created a dystopian society where people chase after ‘packaged shadows’. A critique of consumerism and capitalism, it encourages us to question our obsession with material goods and the disposable nature of modern life.
Martel has written a surreal story that not only asks questions about the limitations and ethics of science, but also explores the fickle nature of humanity.
The Frolic by Thomas Ligotti
A psychiatrist moves with his family to a new town. As he explains talks to his wife about one of his most disturbed patients, a child-abductor, they realize that they have made a big mistake.
The unnamed artist travels from town to town, attempting to impress people with his ability to starve himself. Unfortunately, his popularity is waning. Kafka’s story explores the themes of pride and artistic devotion.
Tom is a young boy with a heart condition that means he will die before he reaches adulthood. This often poignant story explores what it is that makes life worth living.
In this touching story of grief and loss, a recently widowed man returns to a Scottish Island where he and his wife used to spend their holidays.