Podcast

The Waterstones Podcast - Stories

Posted on 10th February 2020 by Mark Skinner

Your chance to hear authors going beyond the book to talk about the themes and ideas that obsess us all.

Stories

What is it that short stories can do that novels cannot? Why does it appeal to some writers and not others? In this episode we embrace the short form and talk to three female writers keen to engage with this unique style of storytelling. Zadie Smith straddles the Atlantic to look at the differences between story culture in the US, UK and beyond. Julia Armfield invokes body horror and genre as she plays with form and liberates herself. And Naomi Ishiguro joins us in the studio to share her journey from student to published author as she launches her debut story collection.

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Stepping out from the shadow of her formidable father, Naomi Ishiguro delivers a collection of crystalline short stories fizzing with invention and possibility. With themes of freedom and flight married to historical and fantasy narratives, Escape Routes marks Ishiguro out as a distinctive voice in contemporary fiction.
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A mercurial mix of established classics and brand new stories from the peerless Zadie Smith, Grand Union touches on themes and topics of tremendous relevance and power in this disjointed age. From reflective character study to gimlet eyed environmental dystopia, this collection is further proof of Smith’s mastery of the form.

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Saturated in a kind of gothic magic realism, Salt Slow’s short stories are haunting meditations on the plasticity of the human form and the way that the uncanny can impinge on everyday life. The debut collection from an award winning writer, this is a book that will haunt and delight in equal measure.
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Weaving dystopian allegories around issues of race and oppression, Adjei-Brenyah’s miniatures pop with energy and barely concealed rage.
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A modern masterpiece of manners, family and friendship, the Cazalet Chronicles follow the intersecting lives of a cast of characters from before the Second World War through the latter half of the 20th century. A superb series, written with warmth, wit and an astute understanding of a changing social landscape.
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Scanning across racial, class and gender divides, Difficult Women is a tapestry of modern America in all its ramshackle confusion, hypocrisy and compromised morality. A consistently engaging set of short stories bursting with memorable characters and spry, perceptive prose.
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