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Unexpected Stories

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Short fiction isn’t really something that the LRB publishes, except when it does. In the latest issue, for example, there’s a 274-word work by Diane Williams, the 99th item that we’ve tagged in our online archive as a story, though it could just as well be categorised as prose poetry. The same goes for Anne Carson’s ‘Euripides to the Audience’ (2002). In 1980 we carried an extract from an unpublished play by Noël Coward.
We ran three stories by Hilary Mantel last year, but these are rarer occasions than they were in, say, the early 1980s, when the LRB published fiction by Salman Rushdie, Jim Crace, Penelope Fitzgerald, Martin Amis and even Virginia Woolf in relatively swift succession, as well as portraits of some of those writers on the cover. The story by Woolf was an early link in a loose chain of previously unpublished or ‘lost’ work by great writers, including ‘L’Ingratitude’, a fairy tale that Charlotte Brontë wrote for her teacher Constantin Heger, in French, in 1842, and a translation of Curzio Malaparte’s ‘The Traitor’ by Walter Murch.
Readers could be forgiven for failing to notice that we’ve accumulated a substantial, rich and strange collection of short stories and shorter curiosities. Subscribers can explore it, at any time, in our online archive. But seeing as it’s August, the only month of the year when there’s a four-week gap between issues, we’ve created an app-only anthology of 14 stories from the paper’s 38-year history. If you don’t have the app, or don’t have the latest version, you can download it from the iOS App Store for iPhone or iPad, from Google Play for Android, or from the Amazon App Store for Kindle Fire. Subscribers can log in using the same details you use to log into our website.

If you’re not a subscriber, you’ll still be able to download the LRB app and read a sample issue, but in order to read this special edition or any new issues you’ll have to buy them individually at $4.99 each. Or take out a subscription: until the end of August, you can get both the LRB and the Paris Review, for a year, for one low rate.

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