Reading The City

The Reading the City Series celebrates the best translated short stories from around the world. Since 2006, Comma have sourced a selection of ten authors from specific cities to collate ten short stories that depict the social, historical or political essence of their contemporary city. Each story is translated (for the first time) into English and published, so that each anthology is a ‘city in short fiction’.

Praise for the series:

'[Comma's] city books feature the best of short form writing from across the world.' - The Manchester Review (2019)

'By having The Book of Cairo in a series that contains not only The Book of Khartoum, but also The Book of Newcastle and The Book of Sheffield, Comma Press creates a shared space where short stories can talk to each other across languages and literary histories.' - Cleveland Review of Books (2020)

'This is the genius of the Comma Press city series: not only do its short story collections transport us to far-flung destinations, they also help to showcase bodies of literature that are wholly unique, each one recognisably belonging to a specific urban landscape.' - The Monthly Booking (2020)

An introduction to the series courtesy of TripFiction (2020)


The Book of Birmingham

ed. Kavita Bhanot

Part of Comma’s award-winning ‘Reading the City’ series, featuring landmark local talent from Birmingham’s burgeoning book scene.

The Book of Tehran

ed. Fereshteh Ahmadi

Ten short stories from the Iranian capital of Tehran, translated into English for the first time.

The Book of Tbilisi

ed. Becca Parkinson, Gvantsa Jobava

The Book of Tbilisi brings together ten short stories written about and from the Georgian capital, showcasing the work of some of the country’s most exciting and decorated contemporary writers.

The Book of Shanghai

ed. Dai Congrong, Dr Jin Li

Showcasing ten contemporary Chinese authors writing about the futuristic metropolis of Shanghai. Part of Comma’s popular ‘Reading the City’ series. Published in partnership with the Confucius Institute.

The Book of Newcastle

ed. Angela Readman, Zoe Turner

Part of Comma’s popular ‘Reading the City’ series, The Book of Newcastle featured ten contemporary authors writing about the city, edited by Costa Short Story Award winning author Angela Readman.

The Book of Cairo

ed. Raph Cormack

This collection brings together a new generation of writers (many of whom have never had their work translated into English) and their writings about the city.

The Book of Tokyo

ed. Jim Hinks, Masashi Matsuie

Bestselling anthology of short fiction about the city of Tokyo, translated into English for the first time.

The Book of Liverpool

ed. Maria Crossan, Eleanor Rees

Bringing together fiction from some of the city’s most celebrated writers, The Book of Liverpool traces the unique contours that decades of social and economic change can impress on a city.

The Book of Reykjavik

ed. Becca Parkinson, Vera Juliusdottir

Ten stories about the capital of Iceland.

The Book of Barcelona

ed. Zoe Turner, Manel Ollé

In this new addition to Comma's Reading the City series, ten stories about Barcelona by ten of its most prominent authors are translated from both Catalan and Spanish into English for the first time.

The Book of Jakarta

ed. Maesy Ang, Teddy W. Kusuma

Traversing the different neighbourhoods and districts, the ten stories gathered here attempt to capture the essence of contemporary Jakarta and its writing.

The Book of Ramallah

ed. Maya Abu Al-Hayat

Featuring ten short stories from the Palestinian city of Ramallah, offering a glimpse of life inside this city of refuge, full of hope, humour and precious moments of intimacy.

The Book of Venice

ed. Orsola Casagrande

A varied and expansive look at one of the world’s oldest tourist and cultural centres.

The Book of Gaza

ed. Atef Abu Saif

This anthology brings together some of the pioneers of the Gazan short story from that era, as well as younger exponents of the form, with ten stories that offer glimpses of life in the Strip that go beyond the global media headlines.

The Book of Dhaka

ed. Arunava Sinha, Pushpita Alam

Stories taken from the bustling, chaotic city of Dhaka by ten talented writers. At their core, these stories are of quintessential human relationships and motivations that would have resonance in virtually any part of the world.

The Book of Istanbul

ed. Jim Hinks, Gul Turner

This book brings together ten short stories from some of Turkey’s leading writers, taking us on a literary tour of the city, from its famous landmarks to its darkened back streets.

The Book of Leeds

ed. Tom Palmer, Maria Crossan

Bringing together fiction from some of the city's most celebrated writers, The Book of Leeds traces the unique contours that fifty years of social and economic change can impress on a city.

The Book of Rio

ed. Toni Marques, Katie Slade

The ten stories in this anthology bring to life the complex and ever-changing face of Rio de Janeiro behind the tourist-tailored images of the city.

The Book of Riga

ed. Becca Parkinson, Eva Eglaja-Kristsone

The Book of Riga brings together ten short stories written about and from the capital of Latvia, showcasing the work of some of the country’s most well-known, and exciting emerging writers.

The Book of Havana

ed. Orsola Casagrande

Leading you through the backstreets and bars of Havana, ten stories demonstrating the power of contemporary Cuban literature.

The Book of Khartoum

ed. Raph Cormack, Max Shmookler

Short stories about the Sudanese capital, featuring ten authors including Bushra al-Fadil and his 2017 Caine Prize winning story.

The Book of Sheffield

ed. Catherine Taylor

Evoking the past, present and future of Sheffield, this is a timely collection of stories from ten writers for whom the city of Sheffield is - or once was - home, and who have found its landscape and history, the city and its surroundings, ripe for creative interpretation.