Since the turn of the twentieth-century, Irish fiction has seen innovation and experimentation on many different fronts. Many novelists have pushed the boundaries of the novel form and also the Irish short story is being rewritten along new lines. It is in this respect telling that the Goldsmiths Prize for innovative fiction has, since its inception in 2013, already been awarded to three Irish novelists and that many other Irish writers have won major prizes such as the Booker Prize, the Costa Award, and the BBC short story award. To get a sense of the variety of innovation and experimentation that is going on inRead More →

George Saunders’ Pastoralia: Bookmarked , by Charles Holdefer – New York: Ig Publishing  (ISBN-13: 978-1632460639; $14.95 paperback; £10.89 ; €13.11) George Saunders’ 2000 short story collection, Pastoralia, is an exaggerated and darkly humorous satire on American life at the turn of the twenty-first century, merging the spirit of James Thurber with the world of the Simpsons. In his entry in Ig’s acclaimed Bookmarked series, award-winning author Charles Holdefer addresses how this collection, and the writing of Saunders, influenced his journey as an author.Read More →

(NOTE: the deadline for proposals has been extended to the 21st of January) This event is the latest in a series of workshops and symposiums that have been organized in 2016 and 2017 by the University of Angers and the University of Nantes for the FOBrALC project, and indicates a growing interest for short forms research in the newly formed conglomerate of Loire Valley and Brittany Universities, France. The concept of brevity is, of course, not necessarily synonymous with shortness, and the question of the relationship between short forms and time deserves more critical attention. In the concept of fleetingness, time is seemingly unhinged. BetweenRead More →

The American Short Story Cycle spans two centuries to tell the history of a genre that includes both major and marginal authors, from Washington Irving through William Faulkner to Jhumpa Lahiri. The short story cycle rose and proliferated because its form compellingly renders the uncertainties that emerge from the twin pillars of modern America culture: individualism and pluralism. Short story cycles reflect how individuals adapt to change, whether it is the railroad coming to the small town in Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio (1919) or social media revolutionizing language in Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad (2010). Combining new formalism in literary criticism withRead More →

ENSFR is pleased to be involved as collaborating organisation in the conference “The American Short Story: New Horizons”, the second annual conference of the Society for the Study of the American Short Story, organised by Oliver Scheiding at the University of Mainz. Plenary speakers are Lorraine López (Vanderbilt University) and Kasia Boddy (University of Cambridge). The full programme can be found here.Read More →

Proposals are invited for a conference dedicated to the novels and short stories of British writer, Sarah Hall. The conference will be attended by Sarah Hall herself and papers delivered at the conference will be considered for inclusion in an edited collection to be published in Gylphi’s ‘Contemporary Writers’ series. The conference is hosted by the University of Leuven and being organised by Elke D’hoker (KU Leuven, Belgium) and Alexander Beaumont (York St John University, UK). It will take place at the Leuven Irish college (http://www.leuveninstitute.eu/). Please send a 300-word abstract for a 20-min paper, along with a 100-word biographical note, to Elke D’hoker (elke.dhoker@kuleuven.be) and Alexander BeaumontRead More →

The fourth ENSFR conference will take place in Lille, France. Proposals are invited (in French or English) that explore the relation between short fiction and desire across different periods and genres, including flash fiction, the novella and short story cycles. As a concentrated and intense form of prose writing, short fiction lends itself very well to representations of desire. As Sarah Hall says, “The form is very good at unzipping the mind’s fly.” Think of Katherine Mansfield’s “Bliss” (1918): “For the first time in her life Bertha Young desired her husband;”or of J. G. Ballard’s “The Subliminal Man” (1963), where hypnotic techniques of advertising turnRead More →

Registration is now open for the multi-disciplinary Leonora Carrington Centenary Symposium, in honour of the surrealist writer and artist.  Leonora Carrington’s short stories are now republished by Silver Press as The Debutante and Other Stories.  Amongst many other treats, the event will include a reading of a specially written story by Claire Dean.Read More →