Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Five exclusive short stories

summerfiction.jpg
summerfictionseries.jpg

Even the longest journey can be transformed into a holiday in its own right with a great book. The pleasure that we extract from reading fiction has long fascinated psychologists. They postulate – although it is near-impossible to prove – that reading novels significantly improves a person’s capacity to navigate their social world, changing the way we see ourselves and helping us identify what we want from social interaction. Novels help us make sense of the world around us; they help us carve out our sense of right and wrong, they influence what we look for in our romantic relationships and they help us assess our life priorities.

It’s impossible to imagine ourselves being what we are today without our favourite fictional heroines, whether it be Elizabeth Bennet or Bridget Jones. The books we read make us the people we are, and the process never ends; any good book forces you to see the world differently than you did yesterday.

Here at Stylist, we firmly believe that literature makes the world a better place, and are proud to bring you five exclusive short stories written by our favourite female authors just for Stylist readers.

Main picture credit: Rex Features

Vermin by Lionel Shriver

US-born Shriver won the 2005 Orange Prize for Fiction for her book, We Need To Talk About Kevin. Of her story Vermin, she says, “I came late to property purchase which I found an ambivalent experience. This story explains the effect of the responsibility of home ownership on one couple, who once considered themselves above such middle-class obsessions.”

Read Vermin by Lionel Shriver

Fall by Emma Donoghue

Donoghue is best known for her novel Room (a haunting portrait of human nature) which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize last year. She says, “Fall is inspired by Annie Edson Taylor, who in 1901 was the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. She hoped to make her fortune but died destitute in the Niagara County Infirmary 20 years after her fall.”

Read Fall by Emma Donoghue

Everything Must Go by Belinda Bauer

Bauer is one of the leading names in crime fiction. This year, Darkside, a literary thriller about the hunt for a killer was a big hit. She wrote Everything Must Go after a trip to Ikea. “I don’t have children but it looks relentless,” she explains. “This story was inspired by a visit to Ikea with my sister and her daughter, and my neighbours, who have twins.”

Read Everything Must Go by Belinda Bauer

The Meeting by Aimee Bender

Bender is well known for her modern-day fairy tales including 2010’s The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake, about a girl who can taste emotions in her food. Of her short story, The Meeting, Bender says, “I wrote this story to question all that lightning-bolt stuff about relationships we run into every day. Sometimes it just takes time to see what’s what.”

Read The Meeting by Aimee Bender

Chemistry by Adele Parks

Born in Teesside, Parks is one of the biggest-selling women’s fiction authors in the UK. Explaining Chemistry she says, “We live in a world where connections are made through social media. I’m a big fan of Twitter but am still an old-fashioned girl. I wanted to write about the frail chances that pop up all the time; chances which we might rush past and miss.”

Read Chemistry by Adele Parks

Related

qhero.jpg

Celebrity special: opening lines from books

Best-closing-lines.jpg

The best 100 closing lines from books

Poignant-poetry.jpg

50 most poignant lines from poetry

Comments

More

Handmaid’s Tale fans, here’s what really happens to Ofglen in the book

As it's confirmed Alexis Bledel’s character will be returning for the second series

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Jun 2017

Four of the best books so far this year, as chosen by Amazon and us

If you read nothing else, make sure you give these titles a whirl

by Anna Brech
22 Jun 2017

Emma Watson really, really wants you to read these 10 feminist books

She’s curated her very own “essential feminist bookshelf”

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Jun 2017

We need to talk about Offred’s secret weapon in The Handmaid’s Tale

This is the most important thing we can take from episode four

by Kayleigh Dray
19 Jun 2017

Little girl crashes stranger’s wedding for a seriously cute reason

And the photos are just perfect

by Kayleigh Dray
19 Jun 2017

JK Rowling flies to the rescue after Trump blocks Stephen King

This is getting ‘riddikulus’ now...

by Kayleigh Dray
14 Jun 2017

Bailey’s Prize winner Naomi Alderman on the importance of feminism

“If my novel is a dystopia, then we are living in a dystopia right now”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
08 Jun 2017

Boys ‘find it very hard’ to read a book starring a girl hero

Gender equality is still a problem for children's books, says leading author

by Anna Brech
08 Jun 2017

Dustbin man rescues books to create free community library

He's saved 20,000 books so far

by Sarah Biddlecombe
07 Jun 2017

Who is Arundhati Roy? The controversial author with an army of fans

The bestselling author’s much-anticipated second novel is out now.

by Moya Crockett
06 Jun 2017