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Great novellas

Language: English
Genre: Fiction
Age group: Adults
Man sitting at a desk reading a book and drinking a cup of tea

These short reads are ideal for dipping into on the go or racing through in a single sitting. Pop one in your bag to enjoy on your lunch hour.

Shirley Jackson We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Eerie and disturbing, this short novel feels like a ghost story crossed with a family saga. Shirley Jackson's last published work, and arguably her best.

Lorrie Moore Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?

Lorrie Moore's short stories are poignant and funny in equal measure. This novella is a great introduction to her writing.

Max Porter Grief is the thing with feathers

Part short novel, part poetry collection, this exquisite story will speak to anyone who has experienced grief. A book to turn to in your darkest times.

Doris Lessing The Fifth Child

Creepy and unsettling, this short novel explores the uncertainties and insecurities of family life.

Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart

This short but important novel is one for your reading list.

Toni Morrison Sula

Toni Morrison's novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue and richly detailed characters. Sula brings all of this and more.

Nina Allen The Harlequin

Author Nina Allen is based on the Isle of Bute, and writes irresistible speculative fiction across a range of different genres. Her latest novel, The Dollmaker, is currently making waves, but we love The Harlequin best for its portrayal of post-war trauma and memory.

Ben Aaranovitch The Furthest Station

Ben Aaronovitch's magical mysteries are hilarious and terrifying in equal measure. This short book is a great introduction to the supernatural world of PC Peter Grant.

Truman Capote Breakfast at Tiffany's

Truman Capote's novella was made famous by the Audrey Hepburn film of the same name, but it's an enjoyable read in its own right. There are enough twists and turns here that you'll still be surprised, even if you've already seen the film.

Christina Neuwirth Amphibian

Author Christina Neuwirth is making waves on the Scottish literary scene. Her short fiction has been published in Gutter and 404 Ink’s literary magazine, and her non-fiction can be found on CommonSpace, The Dangerous Women Project, Nasty Women and Marbles Mag. Christina’s novella, Amphibian, has been shortlisted for the Saboteur Best Novella Award 2019, The Saltire Society First Book Award 2018, and the 2016 Novella Award.

Robert Louis Stevenson Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Today Robert Louis Stevenson is arguably one of Scotland's most famous authors, but his work was originally dismissed by critics for being too popular. It's easy to see why - this short psychological thriller is just as chilling as it ever was.

Muriel Spark The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

This classic is just 140 pages long, and well worth your time. In 2018, every public library in Scotland received a complete collection of Muriel Spark novels, as part of a celebration marking 100 years since the writer's birth.