Long Story Short; Flash Fiction by Sixty-five of North Carolina’s Finest Writers, edited by Marianne Gingher

Flash fiction is a term meaning “very short fiction.” The stories in Long Story Short range in long story shortlength from one page to five pages, and, Gingher writes, “the longest can be read, even savored, in less than ten minutes.” If you’re a reader who doesn’t often choose short stories when looking for reading material, remember that this book provides a delightful way to spend a few vacant minutes between one activity and another. If you don’t read the whole book, at least try the tales by your favorite North Carolina authors. You’ll find stories by Doris Betts, Orson Scott Card, Fred Chappell, Pamela Duncan, Clyde Edgerton, Marianne Gingher, Margaret Maron, Jill McCorkle, Robert Morgan, and Lee Smith, to name just a few of the sixty-five contributors, as well as biographical information on each author. You may even discover a new favorite among the authors who are not familiar to you.

(Helen Snow, Information Services)

Editor’s note – other books in the “Flash Fiction” genre that the library has:

Flash fiction forward : 80 very short stories/ edited by James Thomas and Robert Shapard.  2006

Flash fiction : very short stories/ edited by James Thomas, Denise Thomas, and Tom Hazuka  1992

Short shorts : an anthology of the shortest stories / edited by Irving Howe and Ilana Weiner Howe ; with an introduction by Irving Howe  1982


One Response

  1. I agree, Helen. Flash Fiction, or ‘Sudden Fiction,’ as the fairly new-fangled genre is sometimes called can play the part of ‘filling the voids’ here & there in everyday life … I personally really enjoy being able to pick up a book such as this, where one may literally turn to any page (at random or, say, if a title strikes one’s fancy), and take in a short, yet satisfying dose of a story/essay, distilled down to only a few pages.

    Some are humorous, some a smidgen surreal/absurdist, some leave one w/ the wish that there were more, and the best prove really well-crafted, while all are a gem of sorts. Looking for a quick shot of literary stimulation? Then any of these above-mentioned books are precisely what the doctor ordered.

    While at first it may seem a challenge, and/or non-fulfilling to the usual bookworm who likes to really sink his or her teeth into the intricate plot, full of characters, that a good novel – mystery or fiction or otherwise – can provide, I nevertheless do recommend Long Story Short, or any of the Flash Fiction series, inasmuch as one may be pleasantly surprised with the experience associated with browsing, and taking in, these super-short shorts … it’s almost like sitting down with a bowl of fortune cookies, only the ‘fortunes’ are brief outlines, or sketches, of various story-ideas … fleshed out a bit into the delicious assortment of sudden/flash stories contained in the anthology at hand (the bowl of cookies, each a real treat).

    And just think – many of the pieces can be read & savored in less time than it took to read my comments here – and I guarantee you, they make for much more interesting reading!

    peace –

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