13 Best Contemporary Short Stories

List Updated May 2020

Bestselling Contemporary Short Stories in 2020


The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction: 50 North American Stories Since 1970 (Touchstone Books (Paperback))

The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction: 50 North American Stories Since 1970 (Touchstone Books (Paperback))
BESTSELLER NO. 1 in 2020
  • Touchstone Books

The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories

The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories
BESTSELLER NO. 2 in 2020
  • In stock now

STEPBROTHER: ROMANCE: Stepbrother's Secret Baby (Book 2) (Bad Boy Billionaire Pregnancy New Adult Alpha Male Romance) (Contemporary Taboo Menage Stepsister Short Story BBW Romantic Comedy)

STEPBROTHER: ROMANCE: Stepbrother's Secret Baby (Book 2) (Bad Boy Billionaire Pregnancy New Adult Alpha Male Romance) (Contemporary Taboo Menage Stepsister Short Story BBW Romantic Comedy)
BESTSELLER NO. 3 in 2020

The Art of the Story: An International Anthology of Contemporary Short Stories

The Art of the Story: An International Anthology of Contemporary Short Stories
BESTSELLER NO. 4 in 2020
  • Penguin Books

Other Voices, Other Vistas: Short Stories from Africa, China, India, Japan, and Latin America

Other Voices, Other Vistas: Short Stories from Africa, China, India, Japan, and Latin America
BESTSELLER NO. 5 in 2020

Short Stories: Five Decades (Phoenix Fiction)

Short Stories: Five Decades (Phoenix Fiction)
BESTSELLER NO. 6 in 2020

Wild Women: Contemporary Short Stories by Women Celebrating Women

Wild Women: Contemporary Short Stories by Women Celebrating Women
BESTSELLER NO. 7 in 2020
  • Used Book in Good Condition

Contemporary Latin American Short Stories

Contemporary Latin American Short Stories
BESTSELLER NO. 8 in 2020

The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway: The Finca Vigia Edition

The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway: The Finca Vigia Edition
BESTSELLER NO. 9 in 2020
  • Scribner

Heinemann Book of Contemporary African Short Stories

Heinemann Book of Contemporary African Short Stories
BESTSELLER NO. 10 in 2020
  • Used Book in Good Condition

There's Something I Want You to Do: Stories (Vintage Contemporaries)

There's Something I Want You to Do: Stories (Vintage Contemporaries)
BESTSELLER NO. 11 in 2020

The Complete Stories (FSG Classics)

The Complete Stories (FSG Classics)
BESTSELLER NO. 12 in 2020
  • Noonday Press

Contemporary Chinese Short-Short Stories: A Parallel Text

Contemporary Chinese Short-Short Stories: A Parallel Text
BESTSELLER NO. 13 in 2020

Pssst! Want to Know a Secret?

Book Review for Cate Kennedy's "Dark Roots" book of short stories

Cate Kennedy has written 17 sinfully luscious secrets, disguised as short stories. Fourteen have been previously published and have, deservingly, won awards. In each story, she cunningly and carefully exposes the essence of our humanity in all its glorious, ridiculous imperfection. She gives us a peek into the minds, motivations and missteps of 17 unusually ordinary or ordinarily unusual people, slipping an invitation to examine our own between each page.

Her characters have an Australian flavor, but no matter where in the world we live, any one of them might sit in front of us at the theater, stand behind us in the market or even sleep next to us in the same bed. You'll know them intimately, but feel as if you're truly meeting them for the first time.

Kennedy teasingly whispers the ultimate secret all the way through each story, but if you're not paying close attention, you'll miss it completely. Missing the secret won't, however, affect your enjoyment of the story at all. So, if you like surprises go ahead and take pleasure in the story without trying to find the clues and decipher the subtext. Whichever way you choose to read them, you'll be able to either smirk knowingly or smack yourself in the head at the end of each story, when all is revealed. Her hints are subtle, her style unique, and her stories are perfectly balanced. Her characters will entertain and enlighten, bringing you along for the ride, but you'll have to, at least, chip in for the gas. (And if you feel as if you've still missed something, there is a group reading guide with pertinent questions at the end of the book that will help you delve further into the stories and the characters.)

This is one of those books that you'll want to savor and gobble at the same time, and then, once you've caught your breath, go back to the beginning and do it all over again. I've just discovered Cate Kennedy, and I would pay her writing skill my highest compliment - better than chocolate and, better yet, zero calories - Yum! I can guarantee you'll want to keep a copy of this book on your nightstand, and give one to all your best friends (the book, not the nightstand).

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