I should start by saying that until a year or so ago I did not think that I liked short stories very much. I had studied many as a student in India, mostly classics, mostly Russian authors but I often found them unsatisfactory. Now as I reflect on this, I wonder if it was the subject matter of many of these stories that was so far removed from the life that I was living, and the places that I was growing up in that made me feel detached and disengaged from them. Whatever the reason, over the years, again and again, I tried to come back to them, and again I found myself ambivalent. And then something happened just over a year ago. I suddenly discovered the magic of short stories, perhaps it was parenthood or the pandemic, or perhaps it was that I suddenly understood what a short story really is. And then I just couldn’t have enough of them. Over the course of one year, I wrote many short stories, and I read many more. I have found myself looking for the way writers have attempted to stretch the short story form and experiment with it and make something new and unique out of it. None of these stories experiment for the sake of experimenting. They use the form that best suits the content, shape the structure to fit around the theme. These are a few – mostly contemporary – short stories that I have loved recently for the way that they stretch the imagination as well as the boundaries of what a short story can do. I also like when writing can address big issues but in an unassuming way. I think most of these stories do this, looking at larger political issues through a personal lens. 

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