Summer ShortsSix NYRB Classics
If your attention doesn’t feel up to snuff for a lengthy tome, these books of marvelous, bite-sized narratives will be perfect for you. In Nescio’s Amsterdam Stories, the passions, ideals, and disappointments of young Dutch bohemians are brilliantly and poignantly depicted. Bright Magic, by Berlin Alexanderplatz author Alfred Döblin, fuses the natural and supernatural realms in nearly two dozen anarchic, madcap tales.
Featuring a preface by Jorge Luis Borges and an introduction by Helen Oyeyemi, Silvina Ocampo’s Thus Were Their Faces offers an extensive array of the Argentinian fantasist’s visions of madness and the macabre. A Schoolboy's Diary and Other Stories assembles more than seventy pieces of Robert Walser’s contemplative, inimitably delightful short prose along with an enlightening introduction by Ben Lerner.
Anton Chekhov’s The Prank contains the twentieth-century master’s own selection of his finest early work: twelve hilarious, satiric stories that gesture toward the themes and fascinations of his later career. A contemporary collection by another Russian writer-physician (whose prose, fittingly, has garnered many comparisons to Chekhov), Maxim Osipov’s Rock, Paper, Scissors examines the quotidian dramas of doctors, artists, teachers, and criminals living in present-day provincial Russia.