Books have a huge impact on our lives. It’s not uncommon to notice that when we read particularly powerful books, our worldview shifts just a little bit. Sometimes, when you’re feeling a little stuck in your careers, especially as a writer, you need to read about strong women, written by strong women, doing strong woman things, to feel sufficiently strong yourself!
In the fast-paced lives that we lead today, not many of us have the time to read full-length novels. If you thought that the pandemic which brought the whole country to a screeching halt would slow down the fast-paced work life, you were wrong. Working from home comes with many caveats, one being that the nine-to-five timetable goes right out the window.
Books have a way of empowering, but not all of us have the time to read daily!
The beauty of literature in the modern world is not confined within the pages of hardbound books. You can read online, on tablets, on your phones, and on your laptop! When you are feeling washed out and need a boost to get you off your bed (and start writing again), read through these brilliant short stories written by amazing women.
The Great Indian Tee and Snakes
By Kritika Pandey
The author is the most recent winner of the Commonwealth Short-Story Prize. Kritika Pandey stuns her readers in a gorgeous tale that takes us through the reality of modern-day India. It is a budding friendship in an India rife with communal mistrust and dissent. Kritika’s words weave a tale of lingering sadness and flickering hope. This short read that takes only about 10 minutes will leave you reeling with emotion and shock.
Read it here.
By Shirley Jackson
Published in 1948, The Lottery is a brilliant piece of writing, still relevant and important. It has the power to take you away from your life and reality and place you squarely in the American south on Midsummer. It has gorgeous worldbuilding and subtle threads of mass-consciousness woven through the narrative. You will get a varying degree of shock, horror, awe, and surprise. One of the best-known tales, The Lottery is a short story that you should have in your arsenal.
By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Almost everyone has heard of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, watched her famous “We should all be feminists” talk at TEDxEuston, or read her books. Especially when it comes to feminism. An acclaimed Nigerian activist and writer, Chimamanda has written many books that put women in the forefront. From Americanah to Half a Yellow Sun, her writings are extensively read and critiqued over the world. However, not many have read her gorgeous short story, Olikoye, about vaccination in Africa. The world is holding on to the hope of an effective COVID vaccine rolling out soon. This is a good time to read this beautifully written short story about a small family in Lagos.
Read it here.
By Jahnavi Barua
Aspiring writers often read stories to understand how to create mental images with just a few words. Jahnavi Barua captures poignant beauty—of nature as well as the human psyche—with a story so short you can read it while you brush your teeth! Relationships, love, personal freedom, desire, and family all come ricocheting into the story. Her gorgeous writing turns incredibly complex ideas into simple facts. This short story will stay with you for quite some time.
By Anjum Hasan
Two female characters, one short story, no margin for errors! Anjum Hasan’s poetic writing and the mesmerizing story will keep you hooked on till the end. This short story comes from her collection called, A Day in the Life and manages to capture the mundane under a kaleidoscope of emotions. The story dissects ideas of privilege, womanhood, and struggle within the confines of modern-day urban India.
Read it here.
This lockdown, lose yourself within the pages of a good read! Many brilliant sites offer a daily dose of literature and creative writing. If you are in a field that requires you to be creative, reading short stories is a great way to polish your skills and expand your imagination!
This year, instead of rifling through social media sites, take a moment to read some awe-inspiring short stories by women who have taken the world of writing by storm!
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