Press Release: The Folio Book of Great Short Stories

The Folio Book of Great Short Stories

Introduced by Yiyun Li
Illustrated by Paul Blow

includes 7 stories selected by folio readers

During a flurry of voting last September in our Reader’s Choice survey, Folio readers picked seven unmissable short stories from a distinguished shortlist of fifteen. The result is this new anthology celebrating some of the greatest short fiction ever written. The final selection is a wide-ranging showcase of classic and contemporary works from around the world.

Experimental, accessible and dynamic, short stories allow readers to dip into different genres and eras and to explore new writers. The story also offers writers immense freedom: the opportunity to flex their creative muscles and hone their craft. The eclectic nature of this anthology will enthral short-fiction enthusiasts and introduce new readers to the genre.

In her light-hearted introduction, Yiyun Li proposes the analogy of the stories arriving like guests invited to supper: ‘How do you seat seventeen great stories for a stimulating dinner party? By their authors’ last names, alphabetically, by (…) their authors’ personalities?’

This chronologically presented selection includes some noteworthy inclusions. ‘A Little Cloud’ is James Joyce’s story within a story, Dorothy Parker’s dramatic monologue ‘The Waltz’ brings feminist issues to the fore, and Franz Kafka’s dark tale of a professional faster, ‘The Hunger Artist’, is full of powerful symbolism. Dickens’ ghost story is a classic of the genre, Octavia E. Butler’s ‘Speech Sounds’ is an award-winning piece of postapocalyptic sci-fi, and Hilary Mantel’s ‘The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher’ is a parody of a 1980s moment, packed with pithy dialogue and comic undertones.

Paul Blow carefully selected the stories that he would illustrate resulting in eight striking poster-style illustrations, using a limited palette, each evoking a specific era and theme. The work is atmospheric and deeply immersive: an art exhibition that reveals itself as the anthology unfolds.

Product information
Bound in blocked metallic paper. Set in Bembo with Baker Signet as display. 248 pages. 8 colour illustrations, including one double-page spread. Die-cut slipcase lined in black paper. 9½˝ x 6¼˝

UK £39.95 US $59.95 Can $75.00 Aus $79.95


For media enquiries please contact

UK & ROW Ken Hooper, Cherish PR
020 3626 0282,

US & Canada Cathleen P. Williamson
(617) 435-5505,