I've been thinking a lot lately about linked short story collections (or story cycles, or novels in stories), partly because my recently published book, In an Uncharted Country, is a linked story collection, and I've written an as-yet-unpublished novel in stories, but also because it's a topic on which I'll be speaking at a conference next month.
As I gather my thoughts--what are these different animals?--and what are the strategies that various authors have chosen for linking their stories?--and do any of them really work as a novel?--I've begun collecting a list of books that fall into this "genre" and I'm trying to read as many as I can. Since I'm doing this anyway, I thought I might share my results here, in what I'm calling my "Missing Link" project. Stay tuned as I write about many examples.
The first book that I'll profile, beginning tomorrow, is Knockemstiff by Donald Ray Pollock.