Personal Anthologies

The writer Jonathan Gibbs has a great short story project called A Personal Anthology. Every week for the past year or so he has invited a writer to assemble a fantasy anthology of twelve short stories – the selection criteria is up to that week’s contributor – which is distributed first to a list of subscribers via email newsletter, and then added, story by story – plus commentary – to a searchable site. It’s a really interesting and generous project. Gibbs writes about the genesis of A Personal Anthology here.

This week it was my turn, and I pulled together a dozen stories from Kafka to Courttia Newland via Joolz, Victor Headley and Myles na gCopaleen, comprising some formative early reads, three stories that I’ve been privileged to publish at different times, and others. Since I’d joined the project late, I felt that previous guest editors had done a lot of the heavy lifting and covered lots of bases, thus I didn’t need to include Borges, for example, because others have already done so. I wanted my own personal anthology to reflect just some of the different ways that short stories are used: in live literature, in teaching, and as units of informal exchange by writers. It’s a bit rough and ready. I ran out of time, and as I sent it off I was kicking myself for various omissions, too much flim and not enough flam, etc. But it is what it is, and you can read my contribution, and those of all the other guest editors in the letter archive. The searchable version is here


Read Tony’s Personal Anthology here

Subscribe to future letters from A Personal Anthology here

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