The tales of Christmas: curl up with an original story from some of 2015’s most renowned authors

Conjure up the Christmas spirit with exclusive tales from a selection of revered authors

Chinelo Okparanta

Born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Chinelo emigrated to the US aged 10. Her stories have featured in the New Yorker and in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing and published her first collection of stories, Happiness, Like Water (Granta). Her first novel Under The Udala Trees, the story of a young gay woman during the Nigerian civil war, is released in February. Writer Taiye Selasi has described it a “triumph”.

Read Chinelo's short story, Nostalgia.

Laura Barnett

Journalist and theatre critic Laura Barnett released her debut novel The Versions of Us earlier this year to rapturous reviews (the paperback is out on 31 December). The three intertwined stories of Eva and Jim became a Sunday Times bestseller, the TV rights were snapped up and Waterstones chose it as their Book of the Month in June. Barnett is currently working on her second novel, Greatest Hits.

Read Laura's short story, Blue Spruce.

Jojo Moyes

Novelist, journalist and script writer Jojo Moyes worked at the Independent for 10 years before leaving to write full-time. Since then she has written 12 novels and sold more than nine million copies worldwide, including the Sunday Times.

Read Jojo's short story, Margot.

Sarah Winman

A former theatre, film and television actor, Winman released her debut novel When God Was A Rabbit in 2011. It topped the bestseller lists, won several awards and was sold in 26 countries. Her second novel A Year Of Marvellous Ways was published in June to critical acclaim and chronicles the unlikely friendship between an old woman coming to the end of her life and a young soldier reeling from his experiences of WWII.

Read Sarah's short story, Keith.

Nickolas Butler

American author Butler worked as a Burger King maintenance man, hot-dog vendor, and Christmas tree axe man before attending the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and writing his debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs. It won several awards and became an international bestseller and his writing has since appeared in a prestigious roster of US literary magazines. He released the short story collection Beneath The Bonfire, this year.

Read Nickolas' short story, The Toy.

Illustration: Hattie Stewart

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