Penguin is publishing a new anthology, The Penguin Book of the Contemporary British Short Story, "a literary treasure trove" of "30 great short stories published in the last 20 years", featuring contributors such as Zadie Smith, Irvine Welsh and Neil Gaiman.
The anthology has been edited and curated Philip Hensher who - following on from two-volume collection The Penguin Book of the British Short Story published in 2015 - has returned to the archive, reading hundreds of "contemporary" short stories to make his selection.
The other writers whose stories have been included are Kazuo Ishiguro, Ali Smith, A L Kennedy, Tessa Hadley, Graham Swift, Jane Gardam, Neil Gaiman, Martin Amis, China Mieville, Peter Hobbs, Thomas Morris, David Rose, David Szalay, Lucy Caldwell, Rose Tremain, Helen Oyeyemi, Leone Ross, Helen Simpson, Will Self, James Kelman, Lucy Wood, Hilary Mantel, Eley Williams, Sarah Hall, Mark Haddon and Helen Dunmore.
The Penguin Book of the Contemporary British Short Story will be published by Allen Lane on 4th October 2018 as a £20 hardback.
Its publication will follow on the heels of a reported renaissance of the short story. At the start of this year, sales of short stories surged, rising by almost 50% in value, buoyed by blockbusters such as Tom Hanks’ debut collection, Uncommon Type: Some Stories (William Heinemann) and, some would argue, the phenomenon of "Cat Person" by Kristen Roupenian. The viral story published in the New Yorker was credited in bringing the form into a "new light". Subsequently her forthcoming short story collection was snapped up by S&S in the US in a a reported “seven-figure” deal, while her short story has sold in 23 territories and currently is on course to be made into a new HBO drama series.