Bit of a mess, this one. I really didn’t get a lot of stuff read last year at all. So, I’m just going to recommend two books and then we can move on and pretend I read loads of great stories last year and then told you all about them and we laughed, and we cried, and we learnt the real stories were the short stories all along?
Being somewhat ignorant when it comes to Hungarian literature, I hadn’t heard of Gyula Krúdy until I was browsing in Daunt Books last year and came across Life is a Dream. Daunt Books, in its infinite sneakiness, is perfectly designed to make you find (and buy, hence the sneakiness) things you haven’t heard of before but it is hard to stay angry with them because the books you find (and buy) tend to be excellent. I couldn’t tell you where or how Gyula Krúdy fits within Hungarian literature but if he was British we’d all know all about him, because he wrote very good stories.
The other book of stories from before 2019 that I would most heartily recommend (despite the fact I haven’t finished yet, though I would be very surprised if the quality suddenly dropped off, so just buy it already) is Women’s Weird: Strange Stories by Women, 1890-1940 (edited by Melissa Edmundson, published by Handheld Press). If you like supernatural and/or Gothic or your horror etc then you will obviously like this. What else can I say? Loads, I guess, as this is currently the vaguest recommendation ever written. I tell you what, I’ll finish it this year and write a better review next January.
Cool cool cool.