Then there are those linked short story collections that, for whatever reason, have been packaged and sold as novels. ’s Olive Kittredge (Random House, 2008) won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009 and was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award. ’s A Visit From the Good Squad (Knopf, 2010) won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, the 2010 National Critics Circle Award and is presently being adapted into an HBO series. And ’ We the Animals (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011) won the 2012 VCU Cabeel First Novelist Award, is a finalist for the 2012 Indies Choice Book Awards and has been nominated for the NAACP Image Awards. In addition, Torres was named of 2011!
What exactly is going on here? Is the anti-short-story bias simply a self-perpetuating myth among industry professionals? A cycle in which agents and editors believe that short story collections do not sell, and so do not invest substantially in marketing them, and lo and behold, short story collections do not sell?
… Publishers don’t like to publish short story collections in general unless they are VERY high concept or by someone very strange or very famous or Indian. In the current climate, it is harder to publish even those…I can’t in good conscience encourage you to send [your stories] to me. It will just make both of us feel bad… If you write another novel, I will gladly read it…