A dazzling new anthology of the very best very short fiction from around the world.
What is a flash fiction called in other countries? In Latin America it is a micro, in Denmark kortprosa, in Bulgaria mikro razkaz. These short shorts, usually no more than 750 words, range from linear narratives to the more unusual: stories based on mathematical forms, a paragraph-length novel, a scientific report on volcanic fireflies that proliferate in nightclubs. Flash has always—and everywhere—been a form of experiment, of possibility. A new entry in the lauded Flash and Sudden Fiction anthologies, this collection includes 86 of the most beautiful, provocative, and moving narratives by authors from six continents, including best-selling writer Etgar Keret, Zimbabwean writer Petina Gappah, Korean screenwriter Kim Young-ha, Nobel Prize winner Czeslaw Milosz, and Argentinian “Queen of the Microstory” Ana María Shua, among many others. These brilliantly chosen stories challenge readers to widen their vision and celebrate both the local and the universal.
About the Author
James Thomas, coeditor of all the Flash Fiction anthologies, lives in Xenia, Ohio.
Robert Shapard directed the University of Hawaii MFA program and now lives in Austin, Texas.
Christopher Merrill directs the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.
Flash Fiction International reminds me that the world is so very small and fragile . . . and yet contains an animal as muscular and fast as this wild horse of a book.
— Claudia Smith - American Book Review
Flash fiction—short, short stories only several hundred words in length—is celebrated as an international phenomenon in this exceptional anthology. . . . Natasza Goerke, in ‘Stories,’ may as well be describing this entire collection when she writes, ‘The stories are short, but concise. . . . The final sentence is contained in the first.’ — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
These sometimes brilliant, often cunning, always intriguing very short stories fit the moment, the Internet, the world we live in now. A stunning flock of lovely and compelling pieces by wonderful writers from all over the world…it’s a remarkable and remarkably readable collection. — Frederick Barthelme, editor of New World Writing
One of the most striking things this collection shows is how flash fiction can allow what has been suppressed to find a voice…to introduce readers to voices they may never have heard, and show that this penetrating form has found a niche nearly everywhere. — The Economist (UK)
Like the most diligent of cultural anthropologists, the editors of Flash Fiction International have sifted through centuries of micro art to record and then exhibit these enduring small stories, common in their humanity but culturally distinct in their presentations. This anthology is a gift to the literary community, an important contribution to the understanding of the flash species in all its variegated forms.
— Tara L. Masih, editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction
These bursts of illumination, some less than a page long—evoking shock, wonder, laughter, all with a tantalizing sense of completion—establish flash fiction on a global scale. An incomparable set of stories, this book is a new landmark anthology for the very short story form. — Jane Ciabattari, BBC book columnist
It takes a big map of the world, a pushpin stuck in place for each short short story, to appreciate the dazzling scope of Flash Fiction International.
— Pamela Painter, author of Wouldn’t You Like to Know?
In our demanding world, practical time for reading is limited, not so the time for imagining. If you care to read along, you may do so at random, responding to serendipity—always rewarding—or you may flow with these anthologists’ brilliant organization, which offers you a kaleidoscopic universe in evolution, revealing both the visible and the invisible, the macro hidden in the micro. — Luisa Valenzuela, author of Symmetries