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The O. Henry Prize Stories

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The O. Henry Prize Stories Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Introduction

In the work of Anton Chekhov, to whom The O. Henry Prize Stories 2005 is dedicated, one feels a force as powerful as a hurricane moving toward his characters. His knowledge from a young age that he had a terminal illness may account for some of this, but he was also sensitive to the gathering political storm in Russia. The 1905 revolution broke out within six months of his death. Writers and other artists respond to the same political and societal pressures as everybody else. Some explicitly use a political figure or an overwhelming event such as the Vietnam War in their art. Others are engaged by the public tensions of their time without any direct reference to current events.

The twenty writers of The O. Henry Prize Stories 2005 live all over our planet-a family farm in Kentucky, the city of Perth in Western Australia, urban Florida. Their stories are set in India, Paris, London, Brazil, and New York, also possibly in heaven. Whatever their origin, whatever their private or public inspiration, our Prize Stories are all preoccupied with notions of community. The relationship between individual and society is usually portrayed as a struggle-think of the destruction of Lily Bart in Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth. In these O. Henry stories, community and individual appear most often not in opposition but in some kind of disintegrating relation.

. . .

Among the New York City characters of Dues, nothing is forgiven, neither a minor crime of property nor a love affair that won't quite die. Dale Peck sprinkles his story with doubles and dualities from the deuce of the title on, but all the odd couples are joined when an ironic community arises from disaster. Another New Yorker, in Paula Fox's Grace, is opaque to his fellow office-workers and too obdurate for love. It's not because he’s in New York that John Hillman is isolated but because he’s himself. In the New York of Caitlin Macy’s tale of real estate and social distinction, Christie, well-being is defined by living at the right address, even having the right doorman. The fun of the story is that we root for the narrator's happiness though we know, and hope she knows, that it's unattainable.

Happiness, almost an ecstasy, radiates from Sherman Alexie’s What You Pawn I Will Redeem, a tall tale of an unnamed Spokane Indian's circular attempts, during a drunken twenty-four-hour odyssey, to repossess his grandmother’s regalia. In the course of his hero’s haphazard encounters, Alexie creates a community of people who, without expecting much, receive, and sometimes give, great gifts.

Kevin Brockmeier's The Brief History of the Dead is set in a heavenlike yet down-to-earth city of the dead where acceptance is the norm, a city whose inhabitants are linked by the beat of a communal heart, the pulse of those who are still alive. The absence of hostility among the city's dead citizens marks the afterlife as an almost enviable place to live.

Port William, the setting of Wendell Berry’s The Hurt Man, is a river town, unplanned and apparently ungoverned, the sort of place that pretentious or ambitious people were inclined to leave. Berry's is a story about learning from those we live with, told by five-year-old Mat Feltner, who's still wearing dresses and isn’t sure if he’ll be a boy or a girl, though

Synopsis:

A new edition of the annual collection of short stories judged to be the best in America and Canada for 2004, selected by a jury including acclaimed authors Cristina Garca, Ann Patchett, and Richard Russo, presents an outstanding selection of short fiction, along with concise essays by the three judges on their favorite story, and commentary from the twenty prize winners. Original. 25,000 first printing.

Synopsis:

Mudlavia

Elizabeth Stuckey-French

The Brief History of the Dead

Kevin Brockmeier

The Golden Era of Heartbreak

Michael Parker

The Hurt Man

Wendell Berry

The Tutor

Nell Freudenberger

Fantasy for Eleven Fingers

Ben Fountain

The High Divide

Charles D’Ambrosio

Desolation

Gail Jones

A Rich Man

Edward P. Jones

Dues

Dale Peck

Speckle Trout

Ron Rash

Sphinxes

Timothy Crouse

Grace

Paula Fox

Snowbound

Liza Ward

Tea

Nancy Reisman

Christie

Caitlin Macy

Refuge in London

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

The Drowned Woman

Frances De Pontes Peebles

The Card Trick

Tessa Hadley

What You Pawn I Will Redeem

Sherman Alexie

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307488947
Publisher:
Anchor Books
Subject:
Fiction : Literary
Editor:
Furman, Laura
Author:
Furman, Laura
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Short Stories (Anthologies)
Subject:
Short stories, American
Subject:
United States Social life and customs.
Subject:
Anthologies-General
Subject:
Anthologies-Prize Winning Literature
Publication Date:
20050104
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
416

Related Subjects

The O. Henry Prize Stories
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$ In Stock
Product details 416 pages Anchor Books - English 9780307488947 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A new edition of the annual collection of short stories judged to be the best in America and Canada for 2004, selected by a jury including acclaimed authors Cristina Garca, Ann Patchett, and Richard Russo, presents an outstanding selection of short fiction, along with concise essays by the three judges on their favorite story, and commentary from the twenty prize winners. Original. 25,000 first printing.
"Synopsis" by , Mudlavia

Elizabeth Stuckey-French

The Brief History of the Dead

Kevin Brockmeier

The Golden Era of Heartbreak

Michael Parker

The Hurt Man

Wendell Berry

The Tutor

Nell Freudenberger

Fantasy for Eleven Fingers

Ben Fountain

The High Divide

Charles D’Ambrosio

Desolation

Gail Jones

A Rich Man

Edward P. Jones

Dues

Dale Peck

Speckle Trout

Ron Rash

Sphinxes

Timothy Crouse

Grace

Paula Fox

Snowbound

Liza Ward

Tea

Nancy Reisman

Christie

Caitlin Macy

Refuge in London

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

The Drowned Woman

Frances De Pontes Peebles

The Card Trick

Tessa Hadley

What You Pawn I Will Redeem

Sherman Alexie

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