Introduction

The stories I’ve selected are ones that have left a deep impression at the time of reading and, in most cases, over several years. I have arranged them in chronological order based on the date of first publication. They cover the span of my life as a short story reader and are, in that sense, personal milestones on that journey. Of course, by the very nature of choosing only twelve stories, I omit many writers and short stories that I love: not only many established greats of the canon but also a host of brilliant contemporary writers whom I admire hugely.

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