Fast Fiction – 5 Short Reads You Will Love

3 min read

If you enjoy the tangible benefits of reading print (yes, real pages do smell amazing), then you will appreciate a book that is easy to lug around. Having recently packed up my life and moved from Hong Kong to Mumbai, I was reminded whilst thick novels have a certain allure and look great on the bookshelf – they can also be really impractical.

What Is A Novella?

The move to Mumbai prompted me to embark on a love affair with the novella. Typically ranging from 100 to 200 pages, novella’s are too long to be classified as a short story yet too short to be a novel. Historically, these mid-length works have been the underdogs of the literary world. Publishing houses would shy away from them, preferring to publish longer books for cost effectiveness and perceived legitimacy. But the rise of digital publishing has led to a renaissance of the novella. Readers of e-books are less conscious of the amount of pages in a work and novellas have emerged as something of a literary solution for time-poor readers.

These mid-length works have been the underdogs of the literary world…novellas have emerged as a literary solution for time-poor readers.

Even if you eschew the e-reader, the novella’s slim-line size make them perfect solution for when you want a book you can pop into your bag to read on the way to work or take on holiday. And a compact story doesn’t mean it’s any less engaging. Short-form fiction is crafted so every word packs a mighty punch.

Here are some fantastic new novellas to get you started on the less-is-more star of the literary world.

The Best New Novellas To Add To Your Reading List

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

Considered Yoshimoto’s most popular book, Kitchen, is an award-winning novella containing two stories exploring love and loss. The writing is elegant, full of emotion and contains elements of magical new novellas Kitchen- Banana Yoshimoto

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

First published in 1899, this classic was thought to be one of the first American works looking at women’s issues. Focusing on a woman trapped in a loveless marriage it explores the concept of self outside of the pre-defined roles of wife and mother.

best new novellas The Awakening- Kate Chopin

The Gun by Fuminori Nakamura

A student stumbles upon a dead body with a gun lying next to it and the world he has always known is no longer the same. Full of suspense, this story was originally published in a Japanese literary magazine before becoming an award-winning book.

best new novellas The Gun - Fuminori Nakamura

Intimacy by Hanif Kureishi

In this honest and personal account of self-reflection, Jay, the middle-aged narrator of this story is preparing to leave his partner and their two children. Kureishi is an expert in creating soul stirring characters and this impactful story will definitely leave a mark.

best new novellas Intimacy- Hanif Kureishi

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

Set in suburban Seoul, this intriguing story examines the life of a young married woman, Yeong-hye, and her decision to give up meat in a society of passionate carnivores. Exploring themes such as non-conformity, eroticism and mental health, Kang’s writing is captivating.

best new novellas The Vegetarian- Han Kang

Are you a fan of the novella? Share your favourites in the comments below.

1 Comment
  1. Neeti says

    Some gorgeous recommendations here! I will work my way through them.

    My favourite novellas:
    “Chronicle of a Death Foretold” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1981)- my first Marquez ever and it remains my favourite. When I think novella, I think of this book.
    “Broken Nest” by Rabindranath Tagore (1901) (Mary Lago’s translation) – It is the story of a young Indian woman, married off too early and stuck in the tedium of a daily existence that ignores her intelligent curiosity. The subject matter is simple and possibly even dull, but the book is written beautifully, making you want to reach out and let her go! (Maybe a similar theme to “The Awakening”)
    “Reunion” by Fred Ullman (1971) – Set in 1932, seven years before WWII began. This is a poignant story of the innocent friendship between Hans Schwarz and Konradin von Hohenfels. Hans is the narrator and the son of well-loved Jewish doctors, while Konradin is the son of aristocrats.

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