Having recently surveyed the short fiction I have read (or reread) over the past year or so, I would list the following ten (in particular order) as the ones that have had the most impact:
AJ ASHWORTH: Offerings
JOHN CHEEVER: The Five Forty-Eight
LYDIA DAVIS: Breaking It Down
F.SCOTT FITZGERALD: The Lost Decade
FRANZ KAFKA: A Knock at the Manor Gate
JAMES LASDUN: Cranley Meadows
ALISON MACLEOD: The Heart of Denis Noble
DAVID ROSE: Flora
DAVID FOSTER WALLACE: The Depressed Person
RICHARD YATES: The BAR Man
I would say ‘impact’ here to mean that I either keep thinking about these stories for some mysterious reason, or that they have encouraged me to still keep writing this vexed and lovely form.
Would any other short story friends like to contribute your top ten of recent short fiction stars? Maybe we can compile a general chart?