Synopses & Reviews
“As our vision becomes more global, our storytelling is stretching in many ways. Stories increasingly change point of view, switch location, and sometimes pack as much material as a short novel might,” writes guest editor Elizabeth Strout. “Its the variety of voices that most indicates the increasing confluence of cultures involved in making us who we are.” The Best American Short Stories 2013
presents an impressive diversity of writers who dexterously lead us into their corners of the world.
In “Miss Lora,” Junot Díaz masterfully puts us in the mind of a teenage boy who throws aside his better sense and pursues an intimate affair with a high school teacher. Sheila Kohler tackles innocence and abuse as a child wanders away from her mother, in thrall to a stranger she believes is the “Magic Man.” Kirstin Valdez Quades “Nemecia” depicts the after-effects of a secret, violent family trauma. Joan Wickershams “The Tunnel” is a tragic love story about a mothers declining health and her daughters helplessness as she struggles to balance her responsibility to her mother and her own desires. New author Callan Winks “Breatharians” unsettles the reader as a farm boy shoulders a grim chore in the wake of his parents estrangement.
“Elizabeth Strout was a wonderful reader, an author who knows well that the sound of ones writing is just as important as and indivisible from the content,” writes series editor Heidi Pitlor. “Here are twenty compellingly told, powerfully felt stories about urgent matters with profound consequences.”
Now in its third year, the series has become a mainstay in the literary landscape, each year featuring new voices from throughout Europe alongside more established names such as Hilary Mantel, Jean-Philippe Toussaint, Ingo Schulze, George Konrad, Victor Pelevin, and Enrique Vila-Matas. For 2012, Aleksandar Hemon introduces a whole new cross-section of European fiction, and there are a few editorial changes as well. For the first time, the preface will be by an American--Nicole Krauss--and the stories, one per country/language, will be arranged within themes (love, art, war, the body), to facilitate book club and reading group discussions.
For one book to range so widely in geographical terms is a praiseworthy achievement in itself; to do so and encompass so many delightfully singular, fascinatingly overlapping talents is an achievement of another order.
"Best European Fiction is an exhilarating read."--Time
The Best American Short Stories is the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction, guest edited in 2012 by Pultizer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout.
" is an exhilarating read."--
About the Author
Aleksandar Hemon is the author of The Question of Bruno, Nowhere Man, and The Lazarus Project, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2008. Born in Sarajevo, Hemon visited Chicago in 1992, intending to stay for several months. While there, Sarajevo came under siege, and he was unable to return home. Hemon wrote his first story in English in 1995. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003 and a "Genius Grant" from the MacArthur Foundation in 2004. He lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter.Nicole Krauss has been hailed by the New York Times as "one of America's most important novelists." She is the author of the international bestseller Great House, a finalist for the National Book Award, and Man Walks Into a Room. Her books have been translated into more than thirty-five languages.