Often thought of as the poor relation of literature or the preserve of those who couldn’t stretch to a novel, the short story retains a certain allure for both writers and readers who aren’t afraid to condense character and theme into a few thousand words. The recently published Granta Book of the Irish Short Story is a very welcome addition to the canon. I especially like this extract from the introduction to the collection and the idea that the short story is something of a bridge between the oral tradition of story telling and newer literary forms. By the way, one of my favourite short stories is not Irish but American. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Cut-Glass Bowl is, I believe, a model of the form. Click here to read it in full.