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Jonathan Ball: Story Collections to Return To

Jonathan Ball is the author of the new collection The Lightning of Possible Storms. Visit him online at ***** All authors suffer the curse of terrible knowledge. They know that one of the most difficult literary forms is the short story. They also know that one of the hardest things to publish is a short story collection. Wise authors thus write novels, or even poetry. The unwise among us, enamoured of our dark arts, labour in service to this horrifying master. We offer foolish love, expecting nothing in return. When it came time to write my own short story book, I sat down and made a list of all the things I liked and disliked about the short story books I had read. I loved books where the stories felt connected, as if a theme ran through the collection, but I also loved books where the stories ranged wild, with differing styles and genres. I decided to push at both extremes, running a storyline throughout my book to connect everything while making each single story as different from the others as possible. In the process of writing The Lightning of Possible Storms, I kept stacking and re-stacking my books, studying and sorting them, reading and re-reading the collections I most admired. Here are the 10 books I found myself coming back to the most during the 19 years I spent working on my book.

by Kerry Clare · Tagged the lightning of all possible storms