Jonathan Papernick’s Defense of the Short Story

Jonathan Papernick is the author of the newly published collection of short stories There Is No Other. He recently wrote to us with the below piece on why short stories are more important now than ever.

When I tell people that I have just published my second collection of short stories the reaction more often than not is: when am I going to write a novel? I have nothing against novels; I enjoy reading them as much as anybody, and have in fact, already written and published one. What I find strange is not the fact that readers are encouraging me to write a novel — it is the fact that the accomplishment of writing a collection of short stories is almost entirely dismissed as somehow unworthy. Continue reading here.

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3 responses to “Jonathan Papernick’s Defense of the Short Story

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Jonathan Papernick’s Defense of the Short Story « Jewish Book Council Blog -- Topsy.com

  2. Great article, love the description that a short story is: “an expansive, human experience compressed into a package that can be consumed in its entirety in a half an hour, and sometimes in as little as five minutes. Short stories allow us to walk in the shoes of a characters and understand her hopes and fears and dreams intimately without having to make a three or 400 page commitment that may never be met.” Exactly. I find more and more that the 400-page tomes end up disappointing me, in great part because of the enormous time commitment.

    I’ve read over 1000 short stories this year so far, and what is amazing is how many of them are excellent, do “pierce the heart like a bullet” in so many wonderful ways.

  3. I agree. In some ways, short stories are far harder to write than novels. To reveal so much in so little time is an art and I take my hat off to anyone who does it well.
    I think publishers should think carefully before they make open-ended statements like that about short stories… I think people have begun to turn to the internet for their short story fix and the publishers are missing out.
    Just a thought.

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