Linked Short Story Collections

Linked story collections combine the best of the short story (quick read, compressed action) with the long arc and multiple characters of a well-crafted novel.

Individual stories are unique, like a single stem in an English Garden, but when combined with flowers unlike themselves, their power to amaze increases.

Lately, I came across a list of linked story collections, some familiar friends and others new acquaintances. For those who love linked stories as much as I do, here’s an expanded list including some of my favorites.

Please add a comment about your favorite linked story collections and check back for new titles.

Recognizing a contemporary model in story collections, The New York Times (October 4, 2015) listed five story collections linked by theme rather than characters.

Starred (*) books suggested by friends. Thank you all so much!

  1. All That Man Is by David Szalay – Stories about nine men in different phases of life
  2. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan Winner – 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
  3. Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat
  4. Criminals: Love Stories by Valerie Trueblood  “Each of the fifteen stories asks two defining questions: What kind of love story is this? as well as, Who here is exactly what kind of criminal?”
  5. Egg Heaven by Robin Parks
  6. Ellen In Pieces by Caroline Adderson
  7. How Like an Angel by Jack Driscoll
  8. I Sailed with Magellan by Stuart Dybek
  9. Ideas of Heaven: A Ring of Stories by Joan Silber
  10. In Case We’re Separated by Alice Mattison
  11. Late Lights by Kara Weiss
  12. Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro
  13. Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich
  14. Not the End of the World by Kate Atkinson
  15. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout Winner – 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and a 2014 mini-series staring Francis McDormand
  16. * Point Reyes Sheriff’s Calls by Susanna Solomon
  17. Refund by Karen Bender  “Money. Who has it. Who doesn’t. How you get it. How you don’t.”
  18. Send Me by Patrick RyanPatrick Ryan is editor of One Teen Story and an editor-at-large for One Story.
  19. Snowblind – Tales of Alpine Obsession by Daniel Arnold  Stories of the men and women whose lives are defined by the call of the mountain.
  20. The Informers by Bret Easton Ellis
  21. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis
  22. This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz
  23. Turtleface and Beyond by Arthur Bradford
  24. What Happened Here by Bonnie Zobell – Novella “What Happened Here” Winner – 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
  25. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson – Considered the grandfather of the linked story genre.

4 thoughts on “Linked Short Story Collections

  1. Pingback: A Log of Monologues | Jo Haraf

    • Alas, I haven’t read them all and the ones I’ve read I love for different reasons.

      “Visit from the Goon Squad” has some lovely vertical writing, including: “The shuddering base line seems to interfere with Rolph’s heartbeat.” (81).

      And now I’ll go fix that typo. It’s “Goon Squad” not “Goo Squad.” Sheesh.

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