Synopses & Reviews
After publication of the first anthology over a decade ago, "flash" became part of the creative writing lexicon for readers, writers, students, and teachers. In this follow-up collection, the editors once again tackle the question: "How short can a story be and truly be a story?" Determined to find the best flashes from America in the twenty-first century, James Thomas and Robert Shapard searched everywhere for stories that were not merely good but memorable. Moving, and certainly unforgettable, this collection includes stories from the best and most popular fiction writers of our time, including Ron Carlson, Robert Coover, Steve Almond, Amy Hempel, A. M. Homes, Grace Paley, and Paul Theroux. In addition, Rick Moody properly defines armoire, Lydia Davis delves into a world of cats, and Dave Eggers explores narrow escapes. Over and over, these stories prove that often less is more.
"In their second collection of 'flash fiction' stories-aka 'short shorts'-Thomas and Shapard have pulled together almost 80 works that are consistently swift and powerful, distilling the intricacies and flourish of short fiction into just a few pages. In 'The Memory Priest of the Creech People,' Paul Theroux's protagonist preserves the collective memory of the Creech people before he is cannibalized by his constituency. Hannah Bottomy's 'Currents' replays in reverse the events surrounding the drowning of a young boy. Ron Carlson's 'The Great Open Mouth Anti-Sadness' witnesses a father laying drunk on his bed after his daughter's wedding, feeling the whirl of the overhead fan and struggling to name his emotions. Jack Handey's darkly comic 'The Voices in My Head,' Lon Otto's parable of debating sloths in Costa Rica and David Galef's hilarious 'My Date with Neaderthanal Woman' provide laughs. Profound revelations develop in Leonardo's Alishan's 'The Black City,' in which a minor shaving injury provides the vehicle for a frightening psychological journey; and in Barbara Jackson's 'Gemoetry Can Fail Us,' in which a man's struggle to fell a tree leads to surprising insight into his wife's love. Exquisite entries from a number of other notable authors, including John Edgar Wideman, Richard Bausch, A.M. Homes, Dave Eggers, John Updike, Amy Hempel, Tony Earley and Rick Moody will also delight. Ranging in style from crisp, sober realism to outlandish surrealism, these small treasures make a convincing argument for the relevance and vitality of this little-celebrated genre." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The eagerly anticipated anthology from the editors who coined the term "Flash," with stories by today's best fiction writers.
About the Author
Robert Shapard teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Hawaii, and co-edited Flash Fiction Forward.James Thomas teaches literature and creative writing in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and co-edited Flash Fiction Forward.