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The 10 Best Saki Stories Everyone Should Read

The best stories by Hector Hugh Munro

The English short-story writer Hector Hugh Munro (1870-1916), better known by his pen name Saki (a pen name he probably borrowed from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam), is one of the wittiest and funniest writers of short fiction in all of English literature – arguably the not-so-missing link between Oscar Wilde and P. G. Wodehouse. Yet his work remains less widely read and appreciated than it deserves, in our view. The following ten stories represent, in our opinion, the perfect introduction to the witty and unsettling world of Saki’s short stories. We’ve left out his remarkable 1913 novel When William Came – set a few years in the future when German and Britain had been at war, and Germany had won – as we’ve limited ourselves to Saki’s short fiction here. And Saki’s short fiction is often very short – no more than four or five pages in many cases.

The Lumber-Room’. Possibly Saki’s best-known story, ‘The Lumber-Room’ is a classic short story about a child who is too clever for the adults. Specifically, it is about how one clever but mischievous boy, Nicholas, seeks to outwit his aunt so he can gain access to the lumber-room with its hidden treasures and curiosities. Nicholas’ clever use of his aunt’s own logic and morality to justify his refusal to rescue her from the rainwater-tank is one of the finest moments in Saki’s fiction. Read the rest of this entry