A Personal Anthology – a selection of my favourite short stories

Something a little different from me today. Towards the end of last year, the writer and critic Jonathan Gibbs very kindly invited me to contribute to his ongoing literary project, A Personal Anthology. In essence, each of Jonathan’s guest editors is asked to curate a selection of twelve short stories they wish to share with other readers. The stories can be personal favourites or linked to a particular theme; it’s down to each curator to decide. The idea is to bring interesting stories and writers to a broader audience, and to discover which authors have most influenced some of today’s writers and critics.

Every Friday a new personal anthology is sent out to subscribers as a TinyLetter, and today it’s my turn in the guest editor’s chair! To view my selection, just click on the link here:

A Personal Anthology by JacquiWine.

If you like what you see, please do consider subscribing to the anthologies – you can sign up to receive the weekly TinyLetters here. All the short story selections are archived and available to view at this website: A Personal Anthology. Should you wish, you can view the various choices by the guest curators or the featured writers.

So that’s it from me. I hope you find something of interest in my selection of stories and the broader project in general. Enjoy!

28 thoughts on “A Personal Anthology – a selection of my favourite short stories

  1. realthog

    An interesting selection. Thanks for the reminder about Ocampo, who’s been on my must-read list for a while. And I’ve just added Teffi to that list.

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      You’re very welcome. Silvina Ocampo’s stories are wonderful, deliciously dreamlike and unsettling. And Teffi is well worth exploring too – her pieces are by turns witty, insightful, artful and poignant. Enjoy!

      Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Ah, yes – I recall your fondness for Saki’s Clovis stories. What larks. I’d love to read more of those in the future. Alongside Brian Moore, Maeve Brennan turned out to be one of my favourite *discoveries* of last year, definitely worth a look. Her non-fiction comes very highly recommended too.

      Reply
  2. Brian Joseph

    This is a very good idea. I also like the theme of patience. Your story selection also looks good. I have only read the Checkov story but I think that I want to read them all. I will try to at least get to the Trollope story around Christmastime.

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      It’s a great resource covering a wealth of different writers and curators. I think you’d enjoy the Trollope very much, particularly as you’ve already read quite a few of his novels. It’s such an amusing story, perfect for the gaiety of the season.

      Reply
  3. Marina Sofia

    Have just subscribed. I love it how similar our tastes are, Jacqui! But I read far too few short stories nowadays.

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Oh, cool! That’s great. Yes, I think we have quite a lot of favourites in common here, particularly Yates. Rhys and Isherwood. I can’t recall if you’ve read the Teffi – but if not, I think you’d enjoy her greatly. :)

      Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Thanks, Simon. That’s okay about the Isherwood; the exoticism of Weimar-era Berlin is not to everyone’s tastes! Life would be very dull if we all liked the same things, but at least we can agree on the Taylor – a poignant story, beautifully observed.

      Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Ah – thanks Juliana. I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed it. We have quite a few in common there. Maeve Brennan turned out to be one of my best discoveries last year. What great insights into troubled relationships she was able to capture in her stories. I’d like to read more of her work in the future.

      Reply
  4. heavenali

    I love short stories, and finished a collection earlier today. Elizabeth Taylor is a wonderful short story writer, and that Trollope short story is fantastic too, and so funny. I must have read the Mollie Panter Downes story but I can’t remember it at the moment. You have reminded me though that I want to read more Richard Yates.

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      Ah, how timely! I’m working my way through Taylor’s stories, slowly but surely. They’re so good that I’m trying to space them out a little bit, just to have some more to look forward to. A Dedicated Man will probably be the next collection I read, maybe later this year depending on how things go. I love Richard Yates and cannot recommend his stories highly enough. Eleven Kinds of Loneliness is one of the best collections I’ve read in recent years, not a dud amongst the featured pieces.

      Reply
  5. roughghosts

    Thanks for sharing your list of favourites. Whenever I see these compilations I draw a blank thinking of my own. I think I tend to recall entire collections without making a note of particular favourites, although I know they are there. This series of Jonathan’s is inspiring.

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      I know what you mean, Joe. Sometimes it’s hard to recall or separate the individual stories from one another – that was certainly the case with Saki as several of the pieces in the Improper Stories volume were riffs on a similar theme. In some instances, I found it easier to think about the way I felt when I read the collection, the mood and tone of the stories and the feelings they evoked. That’s how I settled on the pieces by Yates, Mollie Panter-Downes and Silvina Ocampo.

      Oh, and I agree with your comment on Jonathan’s series as a whole – it’s a terrific resource, covering a wealth of curators and featured writers. As you say, truly inspiring!

      Reply
  6. Izzy

    Elizabeth Taylor’s complete short stories have been on my Amazon wishlist for some months (waiting for the price to drop), and I already have the Yates, but I’ve added Salter, Jean Rhys and Trollope (in an exquisite bound edition, by the way).

    Reply
  7. Izzy

    Oh, thank you Jacqui, very thoughtful. I’ve never read anything by Salter yet, so it’s probably best to give him a try before I actually buy his book. I understand he is not everyone’s cup of tea…

    Reply
    1. madamebibilophile

      I’ve been over now Jacqui – great selection! I’m yet to read any of Taylor’s short stories and I really must. I have Thus Were Their Faces in the TBR so its great to hear how highly you rate Ocampo, I’ll move her to the top of the pile :-)

      Reply
      1. JacquiWine Post author

        That’s great, thanks for taking the time to have a look. Silvina Ocampo’s stories are very striking, by turns dreamlike, unsettling, mischievous and poignant. I’d love to hear what you make of them!

        Reply
  8. Jay

    I LOVE this idea and have subscribed to see future “curations” Many family authors among your picks but I think just one story (Chekhov) that I’ve read before. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. JacquiWine Post author

      You’re very welcome! It’s such a terrific idea, isn’t it? Almost like a short story version of Desert Island Discs. I’m glad you found it of interest – the range of featured authors is tremendous.

      Reply
      1. Jay

        I run the “Deal Me In” short story challenge on my blog, and the most fun part for me is always seeing what all the other participants put on their reading lists!

        Reply

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