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The Best Short Stories 2024: The O. Henry Prize Winners

This must-have anthology is a treasure trove not to be missed.
PREMIUM

Five-Star Stranger

An emotional character study that doesn’t rely on easy answers to complicated questions of identity, isolation, and familial love. Recommended for most collections and especially for book discussion groups.

Mina’s Matchbox

Ogawa (The Memory Police), an award-winning novelist both in her native Japan and in the United States, writes with exquisite artistry about the complications of a close-knit household whose members are quietly protective of its wounding secrets, as seen through the eyes of a young girl; the novel is beautifully translated by Snyder.
PREMIUM

How To Leave the House

Toward the novel’s end, Natwest asks, “How many ways could this go?” Newman answers Natwest’s question by providing two different endings, one cheerful, the other not. Readers will have to decide which ending is the real one, or if they both hold truth.

The Goodbye Process: Stories

Short story fans might just discover their new favorite author in this arresting collection, a must-have.
PREMIUM

Coexistence: Stories

Belcourt demonstrates the true strength of the story collection format, leveraging his remarkable skill with character and language to deliver a potpourri of memorable and moving short-form works.
PREMIUM

In This Ravishing World

A short story collection best for libraries where there are already enthusiastic ecofiction readers.
PREMIUM

Old Crimes: And Other Stories

McCorkle skillfully delivers moving, intense stories with characters who harbor secrets and profound regret. A compelling exploration of humanity.

No One Will Come Back For Us: And Other Stories

Genius narration pairs with an excellent collection to create a must-listen audiobook, particularly for fans of John Hornor Jacobs’s A Lush and Seething Hell and Laird Barron’s The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All.

Your Utopia: Stories

A genius collection of enticing tales, sure to create more fans for both the author and the narrator.
PREMIUM

Green Frog: Stories

A touching and compelling collection that will resonate broadly. Pair with Pik-Shuen Fung’s Ghost Forest or Isabel Yap’s Never Have I Ever.
PREMIUM

Table for Two: Stories

A captivating collection done no favors in audio form by slow narration and little characterization.
PREMIUM

Spiral and Other Stories

Koch considers whether humans can understand and protect nature, and her multi-form characters call readers to recognize them, to empathize and preserve. A good volume for ecology collections; also important for students of graphic narrative.
PREMIUM

A Comedy of Nobodies: A Collection of Stories

With their energetic narrative and relentless humor, Ryan’s stories are both entertaining and thought-provoking, making this book endlessly quotable and hard to put down. Fans of Ryan’s observational TikTok shorts will enjoy the same irreverent humor in this longer, immersive format.
PREMIUM

The Inhumans and Other Stories: A Collection of Bengali Science Fiction

Adopting yet subtly subverting the prevalent imperialist biases of their day, these popular tales offer a diverting glimpse of the cultural ferment and ambivalence of late colonial Bengal.

You Like It Darker: Stories

King explains in an afterword to the collection that short stories are hard for him to write, but readers will be thrilled by these tales. Some of the stories are darker and more poisonous than others, but they all have that King touch.
PREMIUM

Old Crimes: And Other Stories

Great short story writers encapsulate and distill the experience and emotions of a character in what amounts to a mini-novel. McCorkle demonstrates why she is considered a virtuoso of the form. This new collection will not disappoint her bevy of fans and may introduce some new readers to her flock of followers.

Table for Two: Fictions

Not all novelists are good short story writers, but Towles excels with this collection. Readers unfamiliar with his novels will love these examples of his shorter fiction and they will be pure catnip to his legions of fans. Highly recommended.
PREMIUM

Dearborn: Stories

Michigan listeners who know Dearborn may find themselves smiling at the mention of well-known streets and establishments, while those unfamiliar with the area will enjoy Zeineddine’s insight into community, race, and family.
PREMIUM

The End of the World Is a Cul de Sac: Stories

This audio will appeal to listeners seeking moving, melancholy contemporary short stories about hope and heartache. Recommended for fans of Anne Enright, Kevin Barry, and Lauren Groff.
PREMIUM

Elsewhere: Stories

Ge’s gorgeous language flows with pain and frustration, perfect for fans of K-Ming Chang.
PREMIUM

Ladies’ Lunch: And Other Stories

An unforgettable short story collection, with witty and poignant insights and a deeply relatable depiction of women approaching older age with wit and forthrightness.
PREMIUM

Roman Stories

Despite the mixed quality of the narrator ensemble, Lahiri is an important author, and this collection will find a wide audience in most libraries.

House Gone Quiet: Stories

Strong writing and consistently skillful performances make this a must-buy for any audio fiction collection.
PREMIUM

Night Side of the River: Ghost Stories

Taking a cue from classic horror stories such as Poe’s works and Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, Winterson has crafted an unsettling and thoughtful collection sure to appeal to those seeking an atmospheric, chilling listen.
PREMIUM

Lake of Souls: The Collected Short Fiction

This complete volume of Leckie’s short stories will be much appreciated by her fans, particularly as the “Imperial Radch” universe is award-winning and popular; the volume’s new story set there should be a welcome addition to that world.

Twelve Stories: With Selected Early Writings

The fierce genius on display here leaves little doubt that had she lived past 33, Latimer may well have rivaled Virginia Woolf as modernist master and feminist icon. A revelation.
PREMIUM

Galatea: A Short Story

Will appeal to listeners seeking a haunting short story with classical inspiration and unsettling contemporary implications. Recommended for fans of Jennifer Saint, Natalie Haynes, and Claire Heywood.
PREMIUM

Nearly All the Men in Lagos Are Mad: Stories

A huge hit in Nigeria, Kuku’s story collection explores women’s lives, sexuality, and resilience in the face of adversity.

This Skin Was Once Mine and Other Disturbances

LaRocca (Everything the Darkness Eats) is a viral sensation for all the right reasons, showcasing why extreme horror is so resonant, thought-provoking, and necessary. Suggest to fans of Tender Is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica and We Are Here To Hurt Each Other by Paula D. Ashe.

Disruptions: Stories

Another winner from an expert in short fiction and well-crafted disquiet.
PREMIUM

Wednesday’s Child: Stories

Insightful yet matter of fact, Li’s beautiful and heartbreaking collection about lost lives, connections, and opportunities resonates. A striking addition to any short story collection.

I Am My Country: And Other Stories

This is engrossing reading, and Orhan provides smart insight into a complicated country as no newspaper ever could. Highly recommended.

Witness: Stories

A refreshing second book from a talented new writer.

The Hive and the Honey: Stories

Yoon takes readers around the world for a satisfying, insightful read.
PREMIUM

Night Side of the River: Ghost Stories

These stories bring enough of a chill factor to raise the hairs on the back of the neck as the ghosts use contemporary methods to scare readers. The tales also open a creaking door to empathy for the dead, the living, and the lonely.

Sidle Creek

In fresh, bristly language, McIlwain captures rural life from a new angle. A surprising read.
PREMIUM

House Gone Quiet: Stories

Linked by their surreal nature and strong sense of place, the works in Norris’ss book include both well-developed characters and strong settings. Recommended for most collections.
PREMIUM

Holler, Child: Stories

Watkins expands her grasp with stories that are distinctive yet create an indivisible, propulsive whole, and readers will be hard-pressed to put the book down.
PREMIUM

Float Up, Sing Down: Stories

While the stories work as stand-alone pieces, they also form a beautiful whole. This is a loving portrait of small-town Middle America that resonates well beyond its borders.
PREMIUM

Neighbors and Other Stories

Oliver uses subtlety and nuance like a knife. These stories reveal a writer who was willing to explore and stretch, telling honest, bared-open stories of her time and now of ours.
PREMIUM

Seeking Fortune Elsewhere: Stories

These complicated, layered stories, narrated with heart and empathy, lay bare the challenges of starting life anew. Listeners will look forward to more from the talented Bhanoo.

Normal Rules Don’t Apply: Stories

Atkinson’s many fans will love this collection, and newcomers will be enchanted as well. Showcasing Atkinson’s ingenuity and Joseph’s nuanced narration, this audio is an essential purchase for all libraries.
PREMIUM

Harbor Lights: Stories

For Burke’s many fans and those who enjoy Southern tales.
PREMIUM

The Lady in Glass and Other Stories

Recommended for fans who are curious about Bishop’s journey as a writer and are interested in reading about the inspiration and motivation behind her stories.
PREMIUM

The Best American Mystery and Suspense 2023

Unger and Cha edit an exceptional selection that clearly shows crime and suspense fiction flourishing still. Mystery lovers will snatch it off the shelf.

Roman Stories

Impressive and worthwhile.

Christmas and Other Horrors: An Anthology of Solstice Horror

This latest from Datlow is a consistently creepy anthology made for long, dark solstice nights (or long days, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere).

The Names of the Things That Were There: Stories

This commendable compilation could be considered an octogenarian writer’s valedictory gift to the literary community, who will revel in its thematic originality and stylistic bravura.
PREMIUM

After the Funeral and Other Stories

A gorgeously narrated collection of shimmering, quietly powerful stories. For fans of Lorrie Moore’s Collected Stories.
PREMIUM

A Stroke of the Pen: The Lost Stories

Fans of Pratchett (The Shepherd’s Crown) will love questing through these stories for bits of Ankh-Morpork.
PREMIUM

The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2023

Although all of the stories here have been previously published, this is always a much anticipated collection, and readers of SF/F in short form will be glad to have so many standout stories, some already award-winners, in a single volume.
PREMIUM

The Wolfe at the Door

Wolfe (1931–2019) has always been considered one of the most literary of SFF writers; though he hewed closely to genre tropes, he also sent them in directions no one had imagined. This collection picks up where 2009’s The Best of Gene Wolfe left off and will be appreciated most by readers and scholars of the author’s work.
PREMIUM

L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, Vol. 39

This panoramic collection offers something for everyone, with sci-fi and fantasy stories that are both inventive and creative. A solid addition to any SFF collection and a delight for genre fans.
PREMIUM

Dearborn

Often bittersweet, these stories consistently surprise. Good reading about community, and of special appeal for its insights into the Arab American experience.
PREMIUM

The Wishing Pool and Other Stories

A deftly written, atmospheric short-story collection for fans of Jordan Peele, P. Djèlí Clarke, and Octavia E. Butler.
PREMIUM

Muckross Abbey and Other Stories

This collection of stories is eerie enough to seep into one’s bones, but listeners looking for truly horrific ghost stories might want to seek out scarier fare. Recommended for those who enjoy gothic literature and detailed settings and are open to ambiguous endings.
PREMIUM

Never Whistle at Night: An Indigenous Dark Fiction Anthology

This anthology is perfect for those who’ve enjoyed Indigenous horror authors like Stephen Graham Jones, who provided the book’s introduction, and want to discover more.
PREMIUM

After the Funeral and Other Stories

Good short stories are complete and satisfying in themselves while leaving open the possibility of a continuing storyline; Hadley’s stories do both very well.
PREMIUM

Old Babes in the Wood: Stories

Expect many holds; this multifaceted collection should appeal to listeners looking to explore grief, aging, and the intimate bonds between loved ones.
PREMIUM

The Caterpillar Dogs: And Other Early Stories

A pithy, easy-to-read collection, with an excellent introduction, especially for devotees of the author.
PREMIUM

Innards: Stories

Soweto-born Makhene uses her unique voice to characterize South Africa much as Ben Okri does for Nigeria or NoViolet Bulwayo for Zimbabwe. Her debut collection is necessarily difficult and disturbingly intense, as any stories of life under apartheid must be, but careful reading will unearth kernels of the inherent resilience and humor of her people.

A Present Past: Titan and Other Chronicles

Not just for fans of Russian literature, though casual readers may be challenged; the discerning will find much brilliance here.
PREMIUM

Onlookers: Stories

Full of ambivalent love, modern Southern charm, and contemporary concerns, the stories in this collection are timeless as well as sharply contemporary.
PREMIUM

The Last Catastrophe: Stories

Fans of speculative fiction, The Twilight Zone, and Black Mirror should enjoy. Although listeners can relish this chilling and timely collection one story at a time, some may find that they can’t put this one down.
PREMIUM

Cursed Bunny: Stories

Fans of unsettling short stories should give Chung’s twisted modern folk tales a listen. These visceral, smart tales, teaching their lessons through suffering, make an impact.
PREMIUM

Queer Little Nightmares

Listeners will likely sympathize and perhaps even root for these monsters not because they are monstrous but because their status as outsiders is universally human.

The Islands: Stories

These stories will resonate with listeners and are excellent for book clubs. Pair with Omolola Ogunyemi’s Jollof Rice and Other Revolutions.

The Faraway World: Stories

A satisfying, exquisitely narrated mix of sweet and bittersweet tales of love.

Call and Response: Stories

An essential addition to any collection where short stories from around the world are in demand. For lovers of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Lisa Cupolo, and Mai Nardone.

When Trying To Return Home: Stories

This is an exquisite marriage of writer and narrators. Every collection should include these brilliantly written stories that combine sharp social commentary with truly captivating characters.
PREMIUM

White Cat, Black Dog: Stories

Patrons who enjoy the bizarre and fantastical will be enchanted. Share with fans of Christina Henry’s Into the Forest or A.A. Balaskovits’s Strange Folk You’ll Never Meet.
PREMIUM

The Big Book of Victorian Mysteries

Penzler’s latest is remarkable in size and scope, but listeners may want to enjoy in print rather than audio.
PREMIUM

Into the Forest: Tales of the Baba Yaga

A sometimes harrowing, sometimes gruesome, but always entertaining collection; listeners may want to take care not to listen near a forest! Fans of feminist folklore retellings will find much to love.
PREMIUM

A Broken People’s Playlist: Stories (from Songs)

Garricks’s Nigeria is a land broken by rapid change, and his characters have been broken psychologically and spiritually by it as well, living lives filled with longing and disappointment and seeking an ever-elusive redemption.
PREMIUM

Games and Rituals: Stories

Heiny seems to have a little soft spot for her fellow humans, writing honest stories generous in their portrayal of how all are just trying to connect while protecting themselves and searching for some comfort in a complicated world.
PREMIUM

Multiverses: An Anthology of Alternate Realities

The collection’s wide range of international authors means it has something to offer everyone. Recommended for libraries with strong SFF collections and readers who enjoy short fiction.
PREMIUM

New York Stories, Vol. 1

Recommended for libraries refreshing their audio classics.
PREMIUM

Walking on Cowrie Shells: Stories

Nkweti’s rich heritage and nuanced writing shines throughout every story in this stunning collection. Share this important work, which details the complexity and diversity of the African diaspora experience, with fans of Lesley Nneka Arimah’s What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky.
PREMIUM

Liberation Day: Stories

There is a reason Saunders is often cited as one of the finest short-story writers working today. Each story in this collection has the potential to be an all-time favorite, and the addition of superstar narrators makes this an essential purchase for all public libraries.

Jollof Rice and Other Revolutions: A Novel in Interlocking Stories

Superb narration enhances Ogunyemi’s extraordinary writing, with atmospheric Nigeria and its language making this audio a must-listen.

She and Her Cat: Stories

Each story in this charming collection flows naturally, conveying how owners and their pets understand and nurture each other. The outstanding audio production brings listeners the same audience intimacy as a well-performed play.
PREMIUM

Tell Me When I Disappear: Vanishing Stories

Packed with slow-burn terror and dealing with deep questions, these stories will stay with readers.
PREMIUM

If I Were the Ocean, I’d Carry You Home

There are a couple of standouts, including the eponymous story about Paul’s attempts to tell his stepdaughter that her father is not returning. Give to those who enjoy quick reads that require deep thought.
PREMIUM

A New Race of Men from Heaven

Recommended for readers who enjoy thoughtful fiction with well-developed characters navigating difficult situations.
PREMIUM

A Manual for How To Love Us

Slaughter admirably conveys a heightened awareness of how we harbor within our tamed lives an undeniable wildness.
PREMIUM

A Down Home Meal for These Difficult Times

As Saba boards her flight, she looks back, wondering if her relatives “might connect with her one more time,” and the need to connect shines throughout this strong collection.

Bad Thoughts: Stories

For those that enjoyed Rachel Yoder’s Nightbitch and Ottessa Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation, this is a great addition to the genre that might be called “millennial ennui.”
PREMIUM

Stories from the Tenants Downstairs

A vibrant short story collection brimming with NYC culture and authentic characters from a debut author with an insider’s perspective.
PREMIUM

Walk the Blue Fields: Stories

Award-winning Irish author Keegan (Antarctica) delivered this delightful collection of short stories in 2008...

All the Ruined Men: Stories

Glose’s superbly and empathetically written book is highly recommended. While the subject matter is inherently heavy, it is compassionately managed by one who understands the journey.

The Angel of Rome: And Other Stories

These poignant stories of self-discovery revealing the faces we show to the world, our friends and family, or perhaps no one at all, alternately tug at the heartstrings and tickle the funny bone. An essential purchase.
PREMIUM

Gods of Want: Stories

Experiencing this collection in print would allow readers to more easily savor Chang’s lyrical writing, but listening provides an opportunity to fully dwell within the stories and be carried to the end.
PREMIUM

Ghost Lover: Stories

These nine short stories highlighting women’s desires, judgments, obsessions, and frustrations are intriguing, but somewhat uneven. A solid, if nonessential purchase for most libraries.
PREMIUM

I Walk Between the Raindrops: Stories

This stellar collection is an essential purchase for all public library collections. Recommended for those that like grit and good stories.
PREMIUM

Call and Response: Stories

Moeng, a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford with an MFA from the University of Mississippi, writes with lush, heartfelt intensity that illuminates contemporary Botswana for readers who value complex female characters navigating a rapidly changing world.
PREMIUM

The Faraway World: Stories

Engel’s character-focused short stories are thought-provoking and intense; readers of literary fiction will enjoy this masterfully written collection.

Muckross Abbey and Other Stories

With frequent nods to both contemporary and classic ghost-story writers (Daphne Du Maurier, Henry James), the success of these stories lies not just in the well-crafted writing but in the conscious mixing of a shape-shifting old world with an unreliably secure modern world. A masterly recharging of a treasured literary tradition that Murray clearly loves and respects.
PREMIUM

She and Her Cat: Stories

Reminiscent of the animated film The Secret Life of Pets, this work may be short, but it’s a surprisingly engrossing and entertaining light read. Readers looking for a quick and overall uplifting work should consider picking up this title, and it’s sure to be appreciated by pet lovers all around.
PREMIUM

Witnesses for the Dead: Stories

A representative collection of authors are included, featuring intriguing stories with settings as varied as a detention center for immigrants to occupied Paris in 1941. The premise is unusual for a crime collection, with characters who witness a crime, and sometimes take justice into their own hands. Royalties go to the Alliance for Safe Traffic Stops.
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