Short Story Cycles

Inheritance: A linked short story collection

Inheritance is a linked short story collection of eight fictional narratives of lives impacted by interpersonal violence and abuse, along with the myriad of complexities we navigate through the course of our daily lives. Fictional stories often portray those who have experienced gendered violence as victims or as permanently harmed. Constructing victimized people as silenced, harmed, or controlled suggests they are without agency and contributes to what Lindsay O’Dell calls the harm story, a “highly singularized ‘story’ of psychological harm in which one story speaks for all women’s experiences” (131). To disrupt this harm story, I look to the linked short story collection genre, which captures the complex, multiple and seemingly conflicting aspects of peoples’ lives by telling a broader story through choice of characters, structure of stories, and point of view.

from: Wood, Karen (2022): ‘Inheritance – a linked short story collection’, Master Thesis submitted to the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, University of Saskatchewan


Note: The freely available part of the thesis contains the introduction to the author’s linked short story collection and a brief but interesting discussion of the form as it relates to telling stories with multiple viewpoints and the specific theme of the collection (gendered violence).


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