Best short stories of 2008

For a slideshow of book jackets for the Monitor's best short stories of 2008, click here.

The Deportees
By Roddy Doyle (Viking, 242 pp., $24.95)
In his first book of stories, Man Booker Prize-winner Doyle expands his range, focusing on the changing faces of Ireland – literally. (1/15/08)

Unaccustomed Earth
By Jhumpa Lahiri (Knopf, 352 pp., $25)
Returning to themes she explored in her first novel, Pulitzer-Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri details with quiet precision the divide between American-born children and their Bengali parents in a short-story collection. (4/1/08)

By Cynthia Ozick (Houghton Mifflin, 179 pp., $24)
In four lively tales, Cynthia Ozick imagines freighted interchanges between two great writers, Henry James and Joseph Conrad, and their secretaries. (5/6/08)

Olive Kitteridge
By Elizabeth Strout (Random House, 270 pp., $25)
This collection of 13 stories set in a coastal Maine town creates individual microcosms of small-town life, with its gossip, small kindnesses, and everyday tragedies. (5/16/08)

The Boat
By Nam Le (Knopf, 272 pp., $22.95)
Vietnamese-born Nam Le transcends the ethnic label in these accomplished stories about the terrible reverberations of violence. (5/29/08)

Say You’re One of Them
By Uwem Akpan (Little, Brown & Co., 384 pp., $23.99)
Akpan has used his firsthand knowledge of life in Africa to explore “big” issues, from religious rioting in Nigeria and the Rwandan genocide to child slavery. (6/25/08)

The People on Privilege Hill
By Jane Gardam(Europa, 197 pp., $15.95)
The 14 stories in Jane Gardam’s new collection focus to a large extent on generally feisty seniors who recall sometimes troubling events from their prime while they cope with the affronts of aging in a changing world. (7/3/08)

Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love
By Lara Vapnyar (Pantheon Books, 148 pp., $20)
This slim collection of six short stories (plus recipes) focuses on Russian and Eastern European immigrants to the US. Food is the slender thread that connects the past lives of these immigrants to their presents. (7/26/08)

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