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Fiction Anthologies (multiple Authors)

The Best Asian Short Stories 2022

edited by Darryl Whetter

Guernica Editions
Initial publish date
Jan 2023
Anthologies (multiple authors), Asian American, Cultural Heritage
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


The Best Asian Short Stories 2022 anthology is the 6th volume in the annual TBASS series of anthologies celebrating the Asian short story as a constantly evolving, innovative and vibrant mode of literary expression.

The focus of our 2022 issue is chope, the Singaporean practice of reserving a space, although of course stories on other themes will also be featured. The anthology showcases well-crafted literary fiction from some of the most exciting voices in Asia.

About the author

A Sharp Tooth in the Fur is the first book by an accomplished writer, whose awards include the prestigious David H. Walker Prize for Fiction. His stories have appeared in The Danforth Review, The New Quarterly, Prism International, Dandelion, The Fiddlehead, and The Windsor Review, and three were featured in Coming Attractions '98. A frequent reviewer, Darryl Whetter's by-line has appeared on reviews in The Globe and Mail, The Ottawa Citizen, The New Brunswick Reader, and The National Post, and online at and He has appeared as a guest panelist on CBC Radio's Talking Books and as a film critic on ASN's Cinephile. A native of Orillia, Darryl Whetter studied at Queen's University in Kingston and at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, where he founded QWERTY and its internet edition, querte. He now teaches Creative Writing at the University of Windsor, where he took over the position vacated by Alistair MacLeod upon his retirement. During the summer months, he can be found at his cottage near Economy, Nova Scotia.

Darryl Whetter's profile page

Excerpt: The Best Asian Short Stories 2022 (edited by Darryl Whetter)

Should you try a general google search for a definition of chope instead of consulting an online Southeast Asian dictionary like, you will almost certainly, and rather fittingly, meet any number of restaurant reservation sites or apps, most in the island/city/country of Singapore. Restaurant reservations are not irrelevant here when a full third of these superb Asian stories involve food and eating.

To chope is to reserve something for yourself, such as a seat on a bus, or at a hawker centre, or even a book at the library. Singapore’s busy, crowded hawker centres and the delicious food they serve were recently (and deservedly) inscribed by UNESCO on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The tables of these food courts, often open-air, usually have little packets of tissues or a compact umbrella left on top to mark that someone else has already reserved a particular seat. Artists and writers also need to reserve space, to leave their mark, in the busy, noisy public sphere. An anthology is also a kind of shared public meal, a collection of delicacies enjoyed with hungry strangers perched either side of you. Tuck in!

Like any proper introduction to an anthology of short fiction, this one is a celebration of, indeed a valentine to, the short story. One way we know we have read a great short story, as you will here again and again, is the recurrent, delicious mistake of feeling like we have actually just read a novel. I am not here committing that cardinal sin in fiction of pretending that short stories are ‘just’ mini novels or, as is too often the expectation in publishing, training ground for writing a novel. Short stories are dense and compact; novels are, by definition, loose and baggy. To read a short story in one sitting, as we are so often tempted to do, is to have the artistic equivalent of expanding a compressed computer file. So much life comes pouring out, jack-in-the-box or clown-car style, of these meticulously crafted sentences and scenes. One such computing tool for file compression is (or was) known as a “CODEC,” an acronym for compression- decompression. These brave, talented, unforgeable writers from the Philippines, Afghanistan, India, Japan and Singapore have compressed so much life, so much hard- fought wisdom, battered grace, and sweet delight, into these seventeen moving stories in alluring voices.