The Color Master by Aimee Bender
This collection of short stories features weird and wonderful characters and surreal events that draw the reader into the story world. Many reviewers describe these stories as “fairy tales,” but while some are whimsical, they’re also dark and melancholy, like the best fairy tales for adults.
Suddenly, a Knock on the Door by Etgar Keret
The stories in this collection by the Israeli short story writer Etgar Keret, combine absurd, humorous, and poignant themes that reveal the fierce humanity of characters in surreal situations.
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
In nine stories imbued with the sensual details of Indian culture, Lahiri charts the emotional journeys of characters seeking love beyond the barriers of nations and generations. This short fiction collection blends elements of Indian traditions with the complexities of American culture.
A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin
Taking place in the American Southwest, these stories showcase Lucia Berlin’s trademark blend of humor and melancholy. They find miracles in everyday life and uncover moments of grace in cafeterias, laundromats, homes of the upper class and hotel dining rooms.
before you suffocate your own fool self by Danielle Evans
Fearless, funny, and ultimately tender, Danielle Evans’s stories offer a bold new perspective on the experience of being young and African-American or mixed-race in modern-day America.
Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell
This short story collection by Karen Russell story blends whimsy and horror in equal measure. Her dry humor and keen eye for relatable emotional experiences will lure readers deeply into these surreal vignettes.