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‘Susan Midalia argues that there is a ‘belief that the short story is inferior to the novel; for while the novel is regarded as complex, substantial and enduring, the short story tends to be devalued as slight and ephemeral, even superficial. We see this disregard for the short story among publishers, many of whom are prepared to take risks with debut novels, but who typically regard collections of stories by first-time or unknown writers as commercially unviable. Think, too, of the disproportionate number of awards and prizes for novels compared to those offered for collections of stories, and of the paucity of short story writers on the panels of literary festivals. But I want to insist that this generic hierarchy – the privileging of the novel over the short story – is both misplaced and unfortunate. Misplaced, because it misses the point that the two narrative genres are in fact very different from one another; and unfortunate, because it works to prevent readers from enjoying the many and various pleasures afforded by the short story form.’ (p. 16)