6 collections of stories to read in 2022

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, I haven’t read as many short stories as I would like. But this year I struck gold with some amazing short story collections. These stories tease us with slightly odd things and provoke us with their portrayal of the human condition. Here are some great short story collections to read in 2022. From Japan to India, from the fantastical to working-class life, you may need to read them all.

1. Looking for happiness elsewhere by Sindya Bhanu

Looking for happiness elsewhere is one of my favorite books of 2022. I picked this up for a short break to read a story or two, but I read them all, unable to put myself down from this collection of short stories. Bhanoo’s characters are Tamil men and women, some of whom live in India and some of whom have come to America to make their lives. In Malliga’s housethe narrator, who, like many others in the nursing home, “lost sons and daughters to foreigners”, thinks about her life and future while in the home. Model house road No. 16, the wife takes her place of respect and decision-making thanks to owning a house that is being watched by building developers. I’m confused because I want to mention every story and person from the collection (so good!) – a divorced woman whose daughter invites her father’s girlfriend, but not her, on a trip with friends and family (Buddymoon), women gossiping about their schoolmate who worked as a Tamil actress and then a politician (AmmaPS: beautifully told in a collective plural voice), an Indian professor is scrutinized over a complaint that he abused them for domestic work, but he welcomed Indians into his home as family (Life in America), cousins ​​and estranged families (Three trips). These people fall in and out of love, arranged marriages, isolated communities, jealousy. They are subject to intergenerational misunderstandings (Life in America), loneliness, sadness; their lives were colored by nostalgia and dreams, both realized and broken. In Bhanoo’s eyes, the characters and their psychology need a standing ovation.

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2. Ceremony of Life Sayaka Murata, translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori

Sayaka Murat’s novels are a pleasure to read. So I was excited to dive into her first collection of short stories translated into English from Japanese. Ceremony of Life is a great mix of the weird and the weird with the horror and the paranormal told in 12 stories. A newlywed couple fights for their clothing preferences in a world where human remains and organs are used for clothes, decor and furniture (First class material), a woman experiments with food to remember her experience eating fresh vegetables (Eating the city), a jealous curtain falls in love with a boy whom its owner meets and tries to intervene in their relationship (Lovers on the wind), an unconventional family in which two single women live together with their children, violates the societal norm (A family of two). These stories are about individuality, personal choices, relationships with food and tolerance. I wasn’t too keen on the casual cannibalism, but I really enjoyed the short stories and Murat’s devastating narration.
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A collection of short stories to read at the 2022 Life Ceremony by Sayaka Murat Ceremony of the Life of Sayaka Murat

Read also : Routine joy, love story and dystopia in Japan

3. Waiting Damodar Mauzo, translated by Xavier Kota

Waiting Damodar Mauzo, translated by Xavier Kot, is an excellent collection of short stories and a fitting book to read in these times of religious extremism and intolerance in India. This is not a Goa of tourist beaches, glitzy bars and Instagram photo ops. Mauzo Goa, the characters and their stories reminded me of Jayan Kaikeni in Mumbai No gifts please (translated by Tejaswini Niranjana) which asserts that the lived experience is essentially the same everywhere. In these 14 stories, you’ll find the unlikely relationship between a thief and a writer (A gentleman thief), a Catholic schoolgirl wracked with guilt over accidentally sharing her beef burger with a Hindu friend (Burger), the impact of rising property prices and couples forced to make public displays of affection because they cannot afford privacy (Waiting), casteism and prejudice (Coward), a person who does not express his opinion in local disputes or larger matters (It’s not my business). One of my favorite stories is Yasin, Yatin and Austin about a taxi driver who changes his religious identity to suit his passenger and taints his small talk with religious ideologies in order to get an extra tip.

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Damodara Muazo's review of Waiting

4. The heart will hurt by Chelsea Bieker

In a non-romanticized version, away from the glamor of Hollywood, in the dry Central Valley of California, Chelsea Beeker’s characters exist and do things that hurt each other. The main theme that connects the stories The heart will hurt or parents and children hurt each other, leave scars, float in bad memories. These stories are full of tenderness despite their quiet violence. There are raisin growers, phone sex workers, missing women, cowboys, filmmakers. A friend disappears Tell me where she is, but it’s also a story about fishing and internet culture. A 19-year-old girl lives with an abusive partner Mom, don’t let your boys grow up to be miners. A woman steals a child Women and children first. Birker’s characters are thirsty for love, approval, money, and a life free of worries but bound by trauma. The heart will hurt is a testament to the working class in small-town America.

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Book Cover: Heartbroke by Chelse Bieker

5. Adam S. Hareesh, translated by Jayasree Kalathil

Phenomenal Moustache S. Hareesh, translated by Jayasree Kalathil, won the JCB Prize for Literature, South Asia’s richest literary prize in 2020. The author-translator duo’s latest is a short story collection of 9 stories translated from Malayalam. In Moustache, the human world and the flora and fauna were mixed together to tell a larger story. In Adam, stories about people and animals sit comfortably next to each other, even though the stories themselves may not be so comfortable. They are dark, raw, often in a brutal, visceral space of loneliness, hunting, conditional patriarchy and death. The men are villainous, hostile, brutal, and the stories are explored through a masculine lens. In the title story Adamwe follow a dog and her litter, who all grow up with human-like characteristics (dominance, love, rebelliousness). Maoistwhich was adapted as a screenplay for the acclaimed film Jallikattu, follows the chaos in a village due to two escaped buffaloes. The stories in this collection are violent, rich in subtext, and explore the cracks of gender and caste inequality.

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Adam by S. Hareesh, translated by Jayasree Kalathil review

6. The lesser-known monsters of the 21st centuryst century by Kim Fu

The 12 stories in Kim Fu’s collection beg to be pigeonholed into one box or genre—realistic, futuristic, surreal, dystopian. Here we come across couples trying to kill each other (Twenty hours), alternative lives (In this fantasy), insect-infested houses (June Bugs), a phone call between the user and the simulator to restore the day (Pre-simulation consultation XF007867), children find a ghostly doll (Doll), and a vendor selling cubes in which you can rewind or fast-forward an organism’s life cycle (Time cubes). The stories, often dark with abrupt endings, explore grief, loneliness, coming of age (a teenage girl sprouts wings). Lydia, the first to fly), and memories. The monsters that plague Kim Fu’s characters are often not physically terrifying, but abstract, like the darkness that has burrowed into our souls. Fans of Samantha Schweblin and Marian Enriquez, Karen Russell will love this collection.

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Lesser known monsters of the 21st century

Read also : Read this book by Helen Phillips when you’re in the mood for some weird stories

Best Short Story Collections to Read in 2022 – People Used as Decorations, Working Class Trauma, Tamils ​​in America, and More Click on Tweet

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Book List: Short Stories to Read in 2022

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