Introduction

Some short stories continue to linger in the mind over many years. Others are soon forgotten. What is it that determines what we remember? Not inherent literary merit, I am sure of that. So what then? This was the question I found myself asking as I compiled this list. The conclusion that I came to is that the stories which leave a mark do so because they resonate with events in the reader’s own life. 
 
As a result, the list I have compiled here operates as an informal autobiography. These stories are ones which I might not now admire, but they operate like old photographs or half-forgotten songs, bringing back times, places, emotional states. This is part of the joy of reading. Stories turn up at times when we need them and help us to navigate through our own experiences.
 
As these stories helped and comforted me, I hope they could perhaps do the same for others. In accordance with my thoughts on the autobiographical nature of reading, I have laid them out roughly in the order in which I read them.

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