Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
You already know, I'm not a well versed student of the short story. So if you are like me, this would be an excellent place to start. I liked EVERY story in this collection. From the first page, each story feels like the beginnings of a novel, but then you realize the sweet payoff is in getting to the end quickly. As soon as I wondered what would happen...the story was finished. And very satisfying, not in a trite happy ending sort of way.
She is a genius, masterful in her ability to communicate deep human longings through the lens of an immigrant. Each of her characters straddle the cultural line between old and new while desiring connection and understanding, and in some cases you are able to see how this impacts the next generation and their choices.
In this collection, there are 8 stories that are more like novellas than shorts. I must say having read both her novel The Namesake and her other collection of stories Interpreter of Maladies, her gift is truly in writing shorts. And developing characters that are relatable regardless of how or where you grew up. This is the closest to perfect storytelling that I've read.
I'll be curious to see how Jill likes this one, she being my short story reading analysis mentor.