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Flash Fiction International

Very Short Stories from Around the World

James Thomas (Editor), Robert Shapard (Editor), Christopher Merrill (Editor)


A dazzling new anthology of the very best very short fiction from around the world.

What is a flash fiction called in other countries? In Latin America it is a micro, in Denmark kortprosa, in Bulgaria mikro razkaz. These short shorts, usually no more than 750 words, range from linear narratives to the more unusual: stories based on mathematical forms, a paragraph-length novel, a scientific report on volcanic fireflies that proliferate in nightclubs. Flash has always—and everywhere—been a form of experiment, of possibility. A new entry in the lauded Flash and Sudden Fiction anthologies, this collection includes 86 of the most beautiful, provocative, and moving narratives by authors from six continents, including best-selling writer Etgar Keret, Zimbabwean writer Petina Gappah, Korean screenwriter Kim Young-ha, Nobel Prize winner Czeslaw Milosz, and Argentinian “Queen of the Microstory” Ana María Shua, among many others. These brilliantly chosen stories challenge readers to widen their vision and celebrate both the local and the universal.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • April 2015
  • ISBN 978-0-393-34607-7
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 288 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“These sometimes brilliant, often cunning, always intriguing very short stories fit the moment, the Internet, the world we live in now. A stunning flock of lovely and compelling pieces by wonderful writers from all over the world…it’s a remarkable and remarkably readable collection.” — Frederick Barthelme, editor of New World Writing

“Here’s a cure for our supposedly lagging attention spans, very very short stories from around the globe, by well-known writers (Sherman Alexie, Ana María Shua, Ron Carlson, Yasunari Kawabata, Etgar Keret) and a raft of lesser knowns. A brilliant demonstration that less can be more and that readers can find entire worlds in a page or two.” — Alan Cheuse, author of Prayers for the Living

“One of the most striking things this collection shows is how flash fiction can allow what has been suppressed to find a voice…to introduce readers to voices they may never have heard, and show that this penetrating form has found a niche nearly everywhere.” — The Economist (UK)

“Like the most diligent of cultural anthropologists, the editors of Flash Fiction International have sifted through centuries of micro art to record and then exhibit these enduring small stories, common in their humanity but culturally distinct in their presentations. This anthology is a gift to the literary community, an important contribution to the understanding of the flash species in all its variegated forms.” — Tara L. Masih, editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction

“Hemingway notes: 'If a writer of prose knows enough of what he is writing about he may omit things he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them." That is certainly a good yardstick by which to gauge the quality of the writing here: the best stories are the ones that manage to conjure up whole worlds in just a couple pages.” — Roger Cox, The Scotsman (Edinburgh)

“These bursts of illumination, some less than a page long—evoking shock, wonder, laughter, all with a tantalizing sense of completion—establish flash fiction on a global scale. An incomparable set of stories, this book is a new landmark anthology for the very short story form.” — Jane Ciabattari, BBC book columnist

“It takes a big map of the world, a pushpin stuck in place for each short short story, to appreciate the dazzling scope of Flash Fiction International.” — Pamela Painter, author of Wouldn’t You Like to Know?

“In our demanding world, practical time for reading is limited, not so the time for imagining. If you care to read along, you may do so at random, responding to serendipity—always rewarding—or you may flow with these anthologists’ brilliant organization, which offers you a kaleidoscopic universe in evolution, revealing both the visible and the invisible, the macro hidden in the micro.” — Luisa Valenzuela, author of Symmetries

Also by James Thomas All

  1. Book CoverThe Best of the West 4: New Stories from the West Side of the Missouri


    Volume(s): 4

  2. Book CoverFlash Fiction Forward: 80 Very Short Stories


  3. Book CoverFlash Fiction: 72 Very Short Stories


Also by Robert Shapard All

  1. Book CoverFlash Fiction Forward: 80 Very Short Stories


  2. Book CoverNew Sudden Fiction: Short-Short Stories from America and Beyond


  3. Book CoverSudden Fiction (Continued): 60 New Short-Short Stories


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