novellas: a life list

Naturalists use the term “life list” to define a culmulative list of species seen and recorded in a life. (It’s particularly common among birders.) But why not a life list of novellas? Not exactly a collective noun — remember a murder of crows? An exaltation of larks? A covey of partridge? — but a way of accumulating and honouring this wonderful form…

In the spirit of enthusiastic celebration, a list then. Not in alphabetical order, nor chronological order. Not by country or by theme. But as they come to mind, to memory, novellas we have known and loved…

By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart
The Dead by James Joyce
The Double Hook by Sheila Watson
Deep Hollow Creek by Sheila Watson
Hetty Dorval by Ethel Wilson
Rain by Kirsty Gunn
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan
The Pilgrim Hawk by Glenway Westcott
Grayling by Gillian Wigmore
Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
Daisy Miller by Henry James
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
The Lover by Marguerite Duras
Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner
A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
The Deep by Mary Swan
Jealousy by Richard Ford
The Womanizer by Richard Ford
The Woman Lit By Fireflies by Jim Harrison
The Fly-truffler by Gustaf Sobin
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
The Visitor by Maeve Brennan
The Burial Ground by Pauline Holdstock
Message for Mr. Lazarus by Barbara Lambert
The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico
Light by Eva Figes
The Albanian Virgin by Alice Munro


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