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

More

St. Vincent is giving this iconic novel a feminist film makeover

The musician is giving an Oscar Wilde project a major twist

by Amy Swales
17 Aug 2017

Erm, so that Hunger Games theme park is actually happening

And we volunteer as tribute

by Susan Devaney
17 Aug 2017

Scientists reveal why we really love the smell of old books

The groaning book towers taking over the flat are definitely not our fault

by Amy Swales
14 Aug 2017

The life lessons we learned reading Jacqueline Wilson books

Because yes, they're still incredibly relevant to us as adults

by Megan Murray
11 Aug 2017

Step into your favourite book at one of these UK literary locations

If you're a book worm with a penchant for weekend breaks, steady yourself

by Megan Murray
10 Aug 2017

Pride and Prejudice is getting a dark, sexy and twisted TV makeover

And, yes, this TV adaptation is in excellent hands…

by Kayleigh Dray
08 Aug 2017

The 20 books that everyone’s obsessing over this summer

They’ve been selling out on Amazon all summer long

by Moya Crockett
07 Aug 2017

JK Rowling’s heartfelt tribute to Harry Potter’s Robert Hardy

Farewell, Cornelius Fudge

by Sarah Biddlecombe
04 Aug 2017

A Sweet Valley High film is coming and it’s in excellent hands

Your childhood self is pleading with mum for a ticket right about now

by Amy Swales
31 Jul 2017

10 blistering summer reads you need to read this August

Say hello to this summer’s best beach books

by Sarah Shaffi
28 Jul 2017