Long Story Short

Flash Fiction by Sixty-five of North Carolina’s Finest Writers

Edited by Marianne Gingher

Long Story Short

224 pp., 5.5 x 8.5

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-5977-3
    Published: September 2009

Buy this Book

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This extraordinary collection gathers short-short stories--none longer than 1,800 words--by some of North Carolina's best contemporary writers, including Doris Betts, Orson Scott Card, Fred Chappell, Sarah Dessen, Haven Kimmel, Robert Morgan, Lee Smith, Elizabeth Spencer, and Daniel Wallace. The stories are compulsively readable. The spellbinding elements of brevity, variety, and surprise conspire to keep readers flipping pages. Comic, tragic, magical, fantastical, provocative, disturbing, luminous, the short-short form proves a reliably elastic and dazzling medium for every writer featured.

In one flash of literary artistry after another, these sixty-five established and emerging writers remind us why we read fiction: to laugh, to learn, to feel, to be discomfited and challenged, to be transported, and to make enlightening and enduring connections with the world outside our own skins. Long Story Short will appeal to legions of fans who already delight in reading many of the North Carolina authors included here and will introduce them to extraordinary writers they have not yet discovered.


Max Steele

Anthony S. Abbott

Daphne Athas

Russell Banks

Wilton Barnhardt

Doris Betts

Will Blythe

Wendy Brenner

Amy Knox Brown

Bekah Brunstetter

Orson Scott Card

Fred Chappell

Kelly Cherry

Elizabeth Cox

Quinn Dalton

Angela Davis-Gardner

Sarah Dessen

Pamela Duncan

Pam Durban

Clyde Edgerton

Tracie Fellers

Ben Fountain

Philip Gerard

Marianne Gingher

Gail Godwin

Jim Grimsley

Virginia Holman

Randall Kenan

John Kessel

Haven Kimmel

Carrie Knowles

Telisha Moore Leigg

Peter Makuck

Michael Malone

Doug Marlette

Margaret Maron

Jill McCorkle

Philip McFee

John McNally

Heather Ross Miller

Lydia Millet

Katherine Min

Courtney Jones Mitchell

Ruth Moose

Robert Morgan

Shelia Moses

Lawrence Naumoff

Jenny Offill

Elizabeth Oliver

Michael Parker

Peggy Payne

Joe Ashby Porter

Denise Rickman

David Rowell

John Rowell

Deborah Seabrooke

Dave Shaw

Bland Simpson

Lee Smith

June Spence

Elizabeth Spencer

Melanie Sumner

Daniel Wallace

Luke Whisnant

Lynn York

About the Author

Marianne Gingher is professor of English and comparative literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her most recent book is Adventures in Pen Land.
For more information about Marianne Gingher, visit the Author Page.


"They are addictive, these little stories. Finish one, and you want to dive into the next."--Charlotte Observer

"Extraordinary voices. . . . The best of these stories delight, shock and mystify but often require a retracing of steps, a closer look--with each rereading deepening our understanding."--Atlanta Journal-Constitution

An Oxford American Editors' Pick

"[Gingher is] a teacher and a writer who passes the torch."--Durham Herald-Sun

"A concise, comprehensive, and compulsively readable collection of short-short stories. . . . Timely."—Art & Literature: the Literary Blog of Metro Magazine

"Never mind that no piece extends beyond 1,800 words--these chiseled diminutives somehow scale up, and the reader feels satisfied."--Our State