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Pushcart Prize XXXI: Best of the Small Presses (Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses)by Bill Henderson
Synopses & Reviews
The most honored literary series in America begins its fourth decade.
With a brilliant collection of stories, essays, memoirs, and poems selected from hundreds of the best small presses, the annual Pushcart Prize sets the standard of excellence for literary anthologies. Each year it invites nominations from a wide array of little magazines and small presses and presents over sixty of the best; and each year its annual volume is hailed as a touchstone of literary discovery.
For its thirty-first anniversary celebration, the Pushcart Prize surpasses its own reputation with an astonishing diversity of writers—some renowned and many others destined for fame.
"A fictional stranger asks a woman to carry a package onto an airplane; a real '70s housewife sublimates her ambitions through the preparation of extravagant French cuisine; a poet writes of 'Hearing News from the Temple Mount in Salt Lake City': this year's gathering of small-press fiction, essays and poetry from venerable stocktaker Henderson is uneven, if sporadically edgy. Standouts center on identity and include Dina Ben-Lev's memory of anti-Semitic pig farmers in Quebec; Mary Karr's confession of her unlikely conversion to Catholicism; and Katherine Karlin's story about a lesbian oil worker trying to be one of the boys in a Delaware Valley refinery. Also noteworthy are Benjamin Percy's short story about smalltown boys who join the reserves and end up in Iraq — with their fathers; Karen E. Bender's tale about a routine TriBeCa sublet that goes awry after September 11; Jonathan Carroll's story about how a lawyer's obsession with scaffolding leads to a Kafkaesque metamorphosis; and Philip Levine's tribute to the late poet Thom Gunn, a narrative dominated by the attention-grabbing John Berryman. Some pieces are unsatisfying (such as David James Duncan's rant on fundamentalism), but this sampler whets the appetite for nonmainstream publications and perspectives." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
For its 31st anniversary celebration, the Pushcart Prize surpasses its own reputation with an astonishing diversity of writers--some renowned and many others destined for fame.
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