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The Best American Short Stories (Best American Short Stories)
Synopses & Reviews
In her introduction to The Best American Short Stories 2011, Geraldine Brooks draws the comparison between a well-told joke and a good short story. She writes, “Each form relies on suggestion and economy. Characters have to be drawn in a few deft strokes. There’s generally a setup, a reveal, a reversal, and a release . . . In the joke and in the short story, the beginning and end are precisely anchored tent poles, and what lies between must pull so taut it twangs.”
The twenty tightly crafted stories collected here are full of deftly drawn characters, universal truths, and often, like good jokes, surprising humor. Richard Powers’s “To the Measures Fall” is a comic meditation on the uses of literature in the course of a life. In the satirical “The Sleep,” Caitlin Horrocks puts her fictional prairie town to bed—the inhabitants hibernate through the long winter as a form of escape—while in Steve Millhauser’s imagined town the citizens are visited by ghostlike apparitions in “The Phantoms.” Allegra Goodman’s spare but beautiful “La Vita Nuova” finds a jilted fiancée letting her art class paint all over her wedding dress as a poignant act of release. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wryly captures the social change in the air in Lagos, Nigeria, in her story of a wealthy young man who is not entirely at ease with what his life has become.
As Brooks pursued these richly imagined and varied landscapes she found that “it was like walking into the best kind of party, where you can hole up in a corner with old friends for a while, then launch out among interesting strangers.”
A collection of the year's best short stories from American periodicals as chosen by Pulizer Prize author Geraldine Brooks.
The oldest and bestselling Best American, THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 2009 will be selected by Alice Sebold, author of the bestseller THE LOVELY BONES.
A collection of the year's best short stories, as published in American periodicals.
The Best American Series®
First, Best, and Best-Selling
The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the countrys finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volumes series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected — and most popular — of its kind.
The Best American Short Stories 2011 includes
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Megan Mayhew Bergman, Jennifer Egan,
Nathan Englander, Allegra Goodman,
Ehud Havazelet, Rebecca Makkai, Steven Millhauser,
George Saunders, Mark Slouka, and others
Edited by the award-winning, best-selling author Richard Russo, this years collection boasts a satisfying “chorus of twenty stories that are by turns playful, ironic, somber, and meditative” (Wall Street Journal). With the masterful Russo picking the best of the best, Americas oldest and best-selling story anthology is sure to be of “enduring quality” (Chicago Tribune) this year.
About the Author
Geraldine Brooks was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in fiction in 2006 for her novel March. Her first novel, Year of Wonders, is an international bestseller, and her novel People of the Book was a New York Times bestseller translated into 20 languages. She is also the author of the nonfiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence.
HEIDI PITLOR is a former senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and has been the series editor for The Best American Short Stories since 2007. She is the author of The Birthdays and a forthcoming novel titled The Daylight Marriage.
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