This Folio Life: Reader’s Choice

Folio’s raison d’être is to publish the books Folio readers most love, in a form worthy of their contents. In order to find out which books you really want to read, and reread and reread, we conduct surveys and talk to individual customers, but we also from time to time publish a Readers’ Choice title. This is a book that Folio readers have specifically chosen for us to publish. This year’s Readers’ Choice was quite a special case.

Sophie Lewis
Managing Editor

The story behind the stories

This autumn, we’re publishing The Folio Book of Great Short Stories. Not just any old bundle of classic shorts, this, but a highly select, meticulously chosen showcase of some of the world’s very best pieces of short fiction. The process of putting it together involved a unique collaboration with Folio Society readers. During a flurry of voting in September last year, you picked your unmissable short stories from a distinguished shortlist of fifteen. Once the votes had been counted, there were some clear favourites, and we’re excited to announce that we have been able to include the seven most popular readers’ choice selections, which join the ten core stories in our edition.

Selecting the core collection

Knowing that we wanted to include older classics as well as new, and seminal works from around the world as well as some home-grown English essentials, we took months to settle on a core collection of vital masterpieces by the likes of Anton Chekhov, Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway, Katherine Mansfield and Mark Twain. We eventually settled on ten stories that could not be left out: incontestably brilliant works, glowing with their authors’ particular styles, each very different from the others yet all worthy companions.

What did you choose?

We left the choices for the remaining stories in the anthology entirely up to you. Your final Folio Book of Great Short Stories will include Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Nikolai Gogol, Dorothy Parker, Angela Carter, Octavia E. Butler and Hilary Mantel. There is also a light-hearted essay by the highly acclaimed story-writer Yiyun Li about this particular gathering of short fiction luminaries. It’s hard to see how we could have assembled a more dazzling company.

The Folio Book of Great Short Stories will be available to buy in September, available exclusively from

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Comments from others

  • Ian Woosey says:

    You seem to be turning away from pre WW1 fiction, particularly British fiction – what is the reasoning behind this ?

    • melaniec says:

      Hi Ian! We aim to publish the best of literature from a wide variety of times and places, although of course we sadly cannot publish everything. If there is something in particular you would like to see Folio publish, please let us know – we note and consider all suggestions.

  • Aine Donovan says:

    Any possibility that you might publish Folio editions of classic Nordic writers like Sigurd Undset or Knut Hamsun? Or even the Orkney author George Mackay Brown? Or, how about John Cowper Powys (well, English, but there it is).
    Your books are stunning, by the way.

  • Steve Hart says:

    A Gentleman in Moscow. A Timeless new novel.
    Lonesome Dove.

  • Barbara Aran says:

    Every year I request the same book:- the first actual novel in history – Miguel de Cervantes “Don Quijote”. It has been my favorite book for many years having read it once in English and twice in Spanish. Is there a reason why it cannot be published by you?

  • Fred says:

    I’d buy any of these in an instant: Fowles “The Magus.” Herman “The Cave and the Light.” Kesey “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Rand “The Fountainhead.” Heinlein “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.” A non-limited edition of “Book of the New Sun” – for those of us just tuning in. 🙂 Wilson “Consilience.” SFWA “The Science Fiction Hall of Fame” – 3 volumes.

    Thanks for listening!