Carol Emshwiller is an American writer of avant garde short stories and science fiction who has won prizes ranging from the Nebula Award to the Philip K. Dick Award. Ursula K. Le Guin has called her "a major fabulist, a marvelous magical realist, one of the strongest, most complex, most consistently feminist voices in fiction." Among her novels are Carmen Dog and The Mount. She has also written two cowboy novels called Ledoyt and Leaping Man Hill. Her most recent novel, The Secret City, was published in April 2007. She lives in New York City most of the year, and spends her summers in Owens Valley, California, and has used this setting in her stories. In 2005, she was awarded the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement. Her short story, Creature won the 2002 Nebula Award for best short story and I Live With You won the 2005 Nebula Award in the same category.

Short Story Collections

The Collected Stories of Carol Emshwiller
(Nonstop Press, 2011)

reviewed by Tania Hershman

In The Time Of War & Master Of the Road To Nowhere (2011)

I Live With You (2005)

Report to the Men's Club (2002)

The Start of the End of It All (1990)

Verging on the Pertinent (1989)

Joy In Our Cause (1974)

Interview with Carol Emshwiller

TSR: Collected Stories is made up of the stories from your published collections. When did you start writing short stories and how did your first book get published? Did you have a collection in mind when you were writing them?

Carole Emshwiller: Many of these stories were never collected anywhere until now, especially the very earliest ones. With a lot of them I was learning how to write as I was selling. I wasn't thinking of a collection AT ALL.! I was just wondering how to sell a story. And that was enough of a challenge. My first collection Joy In Our Cause was published by Harper and Row. In those days the bigger houses were willing to pay attention to beginning writers. That was so long ago. Right now I can't remember how that came about.

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

CE: What does the word "story" mean to me? It means something with a beginning and middle and end. Nowadays I do like plot and that's what I'm doing but, as long as the writing is formed somewhat, I enjoy reading it.

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

CE: I think I write for a reader who thinks language is funny. Not always, but mostly. But when I write a humorous story I think almost all my phrases are funny or ironic.

TSR: What are you working on now?

CE: You DO know I'm legally blind? I've only been that way for about six months and we're still trying set up ways for me to read or write. I can write non fiction, as I'm doing here, but I haven't found a way to write fiction yet. That's a whole other thing.
find something to read: reviews
find something to read: interviews
find something to read: categories
find something to read: back issues
competitions & giveaways

Find out what other authors, from Aimee Bender to Sana Krasikov, said about their collections, what the word "story" means to them, and how it feels to know that people are buying your books! More interviews >>>