Short Story September: 5 Must-Read Jacaranda Picks

“When you read a short story, you come out a little more aware and a little more in love with the world around you.”

~ George Saunders

Short Story September is an annual campaign celebrating short stories.

To celebrate, we are highlighting some excellent fiction and non fiction titles, to feed any short story lovers dream, and welcome new readers into the fold. From our legacy titles, two of whom got shiny new covers as part of our 10th Anniversary celebrations, to a recently published novella brimming with desire and determination, to our groundbreaking, 'viral' A Quick Ting On series, this is a delicious list, waiting for you to dive in.

The Blink That Killed the Eye Anthony Anaxagorou

A stunningly crafted debut short story collection, The Blink That Kills the Eye takes a poetic torch to the shadows of daily life, illuminating the characters, situations, emotions and dilemmas that pour into even the most ordinary existences.

From building sites to prison cells... from the birth of love to the last moments of breath... poet Anthony Anaxagorou expertly navigates through the tangled nets of invisibility, desperation and power to bring us time-defining tales of tragedy and hope - commenting on the irony of our shrinking capacity to really see ourselves or each other in a world increasingly defined by appearances and dangerous preconceptions.

While each story stands affectingly on its own, Anaxagorou also weaves an affecting chronology, the lives of the characters overlapping and intertwining as they develop individually.

Exploring themes of invisibility, alienation, abuse, and loss, this brave and touching short story collection shows the poet-educator at his soul-stirring best.

Speak Gigantular | Irenosen Okojie 

Shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize, the Saboteur Awards, the Shirley Jackson Award and the Jhalak Prize.

Lovelorn aliens abduct innocent coffee shop waitresses. Ghosts of errant Londoners haunt the Underground, caught between here and the hereafter. Brave young women seek erotic empowerment... at their own peril.

These are the worlds of Speak Gigantular, the startling debut short story collection from acclaimed author Irenosen Okojie MBE. Understated in her humour and razor-sharp in her observations of humankind, Okojie's eclectic anthology offers an unflinching gaze into the darkest corners of the human experience.

Sexy, serious, and often downright disturbing, this brilliant debut collection sizzles with originality.

Pleasantview | Celeste Mohammed 

Coconut trees. Carnival. Rum and coke. Too many outsiders, these and other sunny images are all they know about life in the Caribbean. However, if you want to learn how the locals truly live and experience the dark and often harrowing truths that lurk behind the idyllic imagery of Caribbean culture, then come visit the town of Pleasantview.

Come during election season, and see how one candidate sets out to slaughter endangered turtles - just for fun. Or come on the day the other candidate beats his "outside-woman," so badly she ends up losing their baby. Then come on the night of the political rally, where this grieving woman exacts a very public revenge. Stay a while, and see how this single event has a trajectory far beyond the lives of the immediate actors, with often tragic and heartbreaking consequences.

Written in a remarkable combination of Standard English and Trinidad Creole, Pleasantview showcases the entrenched political, racial, and class dichotomies of life in Trinidad: the generosity (yet cruelty) of the average Trini; the sense of optimism (and yet, despair) which permeates everyday interaction; and the musicality of Caribbean creole (kriol) expression that masks an ingrained and frequently violent patriarchy.

Merging the vibrancy and darkness of recent Caribbean writers such as Ingrid Persaud and Claire Adam with the linguistic experimentation of Marlon James's A Brief History of Seven Killings, Pleasantview is a landmark work in international fiction.

With Your Bad Self | Kerika Fields

Can a love story survive in an economically challenged Brooklyn on the verge of World War II?

Marie and Benjamin are in love, but World War II is approaching and so is the military draft for Benjamin. But one adversity after the other forces them to separate.

Heartbroken, Marie can only keep surviving while hoping that Benjamin comes back to her. But while he's away, another man comes knocking on her heart. Pushed to marry him by everyone around her, Marie needs to make a tough decision-waiting for Benjamin and following her dreams to see the world or move on with her life with another man?

A Quick Ting On Series | Various Authors

A ground-breaking non-fiction series, A Quick Ting On is the first ever non-fiction book series dedicated to Black British culture.

The series explores the history and evolution of Black British Culture.

The 'viral' series was created, commissioned and edited by Magdalene Abraha. With books surveying key topics ranging from Grime and Afrobeats to Black fashion and hair, each title has been written by an influential Black British voice and debut author, including: broadcaster and host of Channel 4’s How Not To Be Racist, Chanté Joseph; award-winning theatre and film producer and writer Tobi Kyeremateng; award-winning entrepreneur Tskenya-Sarah Frazer; and journalist and activist Franklyn Addo, among others.


Happy shopping, and remember, all these titles are also available as eBooks!