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Anthony Cropper 


Anthony Cropper has written two novels and edited three short story collections. He received the BBC Alfred Bradley Award for Radio Drama for his play I'll Tell You About Love. His first short story collection Nature's Magician has been long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize.

Short Story Collections

Nature's Magician
Route Publishing, 2009

Longlisted, 2009 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award.

Reviewed by M. Bobowski

 Interview with
Anthony Cropper

The Short Review: How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?

Anthony Cropper: The collection took over a year. Some stories had been around in one form or another for a little longer. For me, some stories come quickly, others can take months to get right.

TSR: Did you have a collection in mind when you were writing them?

AC: The idea to create the collection came from a commission. I met with a number of reader groups and talked to them about both reading and writing. We read a lot of Amy Hempel.

TSR: How did you choose which stories to include and in what order?

AC: The order was more difficult than choosing the stories. One or two didn't make it into the collection because they didn't seem to fit with the rest. The order changed many times. In the end, we felt this order led the reader into the ideas.

TSR: What does the word "story" mean to you?

AC:  A means of making order from chaos.

TSR: Do you have a "reader" in mind when you write stories?

AC:  No. The stories come and if people like them then it's a bonus.

TSR: Is there anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection, anything at all?

AC: Why does water expand when it freezes?

TSR: How does it feel knowing that people are buying your book?

AC: Better than if they were selling them.

TSR: What are you working on now?

AC: I tend to work on a few ideas at the same time. There's some stories that I've been trying to get right for quite a while now. I'm also working on a novel.

TSR: What are the three most recent short story collections you've read?

AC: I tend to read and re-read short story collections. I very much like Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. I've been reading Maynard and Mack ( a compilation with commentaries), and one collection I always go back to is The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien.