Saturday, March 19, 2022

Book Review: "Small Odysseys: Selected Shorts Presents 35 New Stories" edited by Hannah Tinti

Small Odysseys is an anthology of 35 short stories from renowned and new-to-me authors.

Are you familiar with the radio program or podcast called “Selected Shorts”? Since 1985, this program has featured stage and screen actors reading short stories—both new and classic—in front of a live audience. I had never heard of the program but I do enjoy short stories, so when Algonquin Books offered me the opportunity to read this anthology, published in conjunction with the show, I jumped at the chance.

There are a number of well-known authors who contributed to this collection as well as some with whom I wasn’t familiar. As with any anthology, some stories hit it out of the park for me while some didn’t work as well.

My favorites included: ”The King of Bread” by Luis Alberto Urrea; ”iPhone SE” by Weike Wang; “Sleepless” by Michael Cunningham; “Escape Pod W41” by J. Robert Lennon; “Period Piece” by Maile Meloy; and “Such Small Islands” by Lauren Groff.

What I like about an anthology like Small Odysseys is the opportunity to pick it up at any point in the book and read any story, and also it’s the chance to be introduced to authors whose work I’ve not read yet. Definitely a thought-provoking collection!

Thanks to Algonquin Books for inviting me on the tour for the book and providing a complimentary advance copy in exchange for an unbiased review!

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