I’ve seen enough people who recommend books but short stories are nothing short of special. To tell a story in a few pages is a skill not all of the writers can master. I’ve often felt that if a writer can succeed in writing a meaningful short story, they can make a successful attempt at a book as well. I’ve compiled a small list of a few of my favourite short stories. I read some of these for school and some, just because I wanted to. I hope you can find something worth reading.
- Lamb To The Slaughter by Roald Dahl: Clever is the only word that can explain this story. I read this story at school and I was not the only kid who was dumb-struck at the sheer brilliance of Roald Dahl. It tells us the themes of betrayal in a marriage between a husband and a wife. The degree of this betrayal, however, is what makes the story an exciting read.
- An Astrologer’s Day by R. K. Narayana: A gambler and murderer becomes an astrologer just with a bit of saffron and a keen observation of human behaviour. I think this story has a very significant motive regarding fake astrologers in India. Fate, and how our deeds, good or bad, find us at the end, is an element that is very well-played in the story. Human greed is also an important element.
- One Hundred Dollars by O. Henry: The protagonist, Gillian, is supposedly a materialistic man. He has one thousand dollars left to him in his uncle’s will which, if he spends, he will have to maintain an account for. If he spends them wisely he’ll be rewarded with $50000. How he spends them, and whether he is worthy of the reward is for you to decide if you ever read the story. It’s a good one.
- Old Love by Jeffery Archer: This is my all-time favorite love story. I’m not a romance fan but this story can melt all frozen hearts. It is a story of two students whose rivalry at university turns into a love story. It is commendable that the author could manage the hate-to-love trope in a short story while we still see instant-love in books.
- A Real Durwan by Jhumpa Lahiri: The story of a 64-year-old woman who is a caretaker of an apartment and a refugee from India-Pakistan partition, A Real Durwan tells us of old age and how we disregard our elders. The protagonist keeps on rambling about how luxurious her life was before and now, she has to sweep apartments just so she could have something to eat. This story is very raw which explores class and discrimination people face due to it.
I have a lot of favorite short stories but I decided to keep the list short. Short stories always help me out of reading slumps and I can delve into a number of stories in a short span of time. I hope you read these. Let me know what you think of short stories and if you enjoy reading them. I would also love to hear about your favourite short stories.