James Joyce Reports of the form’s death – and rebirth – have great­ly exag­ger­at­ed. “The short sto­ry is enjoy­ing a pow­er­ful renais­sance”, ran a head­line in the Spec­ta­tor in Sep­tem­ber last year. “After decades of neglect,” added, “the genre is very much back in fash­ion.” This isn’t true, but when comes to short sto­ries fake news is ubiq­ui­tous. Oth­er recent announce­ments of the short-sto­ry renais­sance include one in 2014, when the Dai­ly Tele­graph called “the per­fect lit­er­ary form for the 21st cen­tu­ry” because brevi­ty suits our dwin­dling atten­tion span (more on the stu­pid­i­ty of argu­ment lat­er); in 2013, when the short-sto­ry spe­cial­ists Alice Munro and Lydia Davis won the Nobel and the Man Book­er Inter­na­tion­al Prizes, respec­tive­ly; and in , which Blooms­bury pro­claimed “the year of the short sto­ry”, pub­lish­ing five in as many months. It is often said pub­lish­ers don’t like short sto­ries because they don’t sell: it’s assumed this proves read­ers don’t like them either. Yet, rather than accept the genre as a minor­i­ty inter­est, there is always some­one – a jour­nal­ist, a prize jury, a pub­lish­er – announc­ing its come­back. While bit­ter expe­ri­ence shown poet­ry exact­ly […]