Deborah Eisenberg has been getting the full court press for her new short story collection Twilight of the Superheroes (which we've been meaning to crack open for weeks now). The New York Times checks in with the author (we didn't know that she was Wallace Shawn's "companion" ... but we don't get invited to those kinds of parties) to find her at "the pinnacle of what has become a lonely genre."
Generally speaking, the short story is not a favored form for writers these days. Fewer magazines publish them, and agents shy away from them.
In the 1980's there was a revival of interest in the short story, with the work of Raymond Carver and Richard Ford and the arrival of the so-called minimalists on the scene. Many minimalists "were fashionable then but are faded now," said the critic Morris Dickstein, author of "A Mirror in the Roadway."
An occasional collection of short stories will break through onto best-seller lists; Jhumpa Lahiri's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Interpreter of Maladies" made The New York Times's extended list as well as several regional best-seller lists. But in general, said Sessalee Hensley, the fiction buyer for Barnes & Noble, "short story collections don't generally sell well."