Two titles from short story collection reading list
Last Evenings on Earth by Roberto Bola√Īo

Possibly my favourite short-story collection. One that glorifies telling as a timeless method and reminds us of its mesmerising nature. The titular story has one of the most resonant endings of all time.

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower

An exquisitely masculine collection that celebrates the sensitivity and vulnerability in man/boyhood. I still think of the last story from time to time, how it just chisels into the book with magnificent ferocity and melancholy.

Two titles from short story collection reading list
Dubliners by James Joyce

I believe I don‚Äôt need to say much about why I love Dubliners. It‚Äôs been many years since I first read ‚ÄėThe Dead‚Äô and still I go through my life reciting the last paragraph from time to time, as if it‚Äôs some Buddhist sutra.

Intimacies by Lucy Caldwell

A collection that delivers the full power of female narratives, the voices deceptively simple but vigorous and sharp. Sometimes when my mind wanders too far, I go back to this collection to be re-grounded.

Two titles from short story collection reading list
Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett

Pond is one of those books that trains you on how to read it. Every sentence is incredibly tense, yet executed in the most playful manner possible. There is a genuine thrill in seeing the stories unfold with extreme meticulousness and articulation, extending to wild places.

A Universal History of Infamy by Jorge Luis Borges

I read lots of Borges in the late nineties because back then every literary person in China was reading him. And my lifelong obsession with anti-heroes probably started when reading this book. The adolescent me was bedazzled by the scope of these quasi-historic stories while struck by the narrative similarities between the Argentinian’s tales and the literary sketches in Ming-Qing fiction.

Two titles from short story collection reading list
The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson

I need to confess that I have perhaps an unhealthy partiality towards longer short fiction and that’s why I choose, if I absolutely have to, The Largesse of the Sea Maiden over Jesus’ Son. I always savour stories that allow me to linger and I would love to stay in this book with Denis Johnson for as long as possible.

Selected Stories of Shen Congwen

There has always been a hopeless sentimentality in my writing and I think I got this from Shen Congwen. He was probably the first writer who showed me the potency of short fiction as a form. I was enchanted by the rhythmic repetition in his work, which ended up becoming my literary birthmark as well.

Tenth of December by George Saunders

It was in 2013 when I first read George Saunders, having lived in the States and in English for just over a year. I read ‚ÄėEscape from Spiderhead‚Äô and thought: What? What just happened? Are you even allowed to do this? And then I read it again.


Elsewhere by Yan Ge is out now in paperback, audio and ebook.
Buy the Book
Yan Ge

The highly anticipated English-language debut from a literary star ‚Äď nine iridescent, beguiling, witty and wonderous stories of dispossession and longing.

About the Author

Yan Ge was born in Sichuan, China, in 1984. She is a fiction writer in both Chinese and English who has received numerous awards, including the prestigious Mao Dun Literature Prize (Best Young Writer), and she was named by People’s Literature magazine as one of twenty future literature masters in China.

Read More
About the Author
Yan Ge – c. Ken Chen