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.”
A collection of the twenty best contemporary short stories selected by series editor Laura Furman from hundreds of literary magazines, The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2009 features unforgettable tales in settings as diverse as post-war Vietnam, a luxurious seaside development in Cape Town, an Egyptian desert village, and a permanently darkened New York City. Also included are essays from the eminent jurors on their favorite stories, observations from the winners on what inspired them, and an extensive resource list of magazines.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2012 gathers twenty of the best short stories of the year, selected from thousands published in literary magazines. These remarkable stories explore the boundaries of the imagination in settings as various as an army training camp in China, the salt mines of Detroit, a divided Balkan town, and the eye of a hurricane. Also included are essays from the eminent jurors on their favorite stories, observations from the winners on what inspired them, and an extensive resource list of magazines.
The best-selling and award-winning Jennifer Egan guest edits this year's The Best American Short Stories, the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction.
“The literary ‘Oscars features twenty outstanding examples of the best of the best in American short stories.” — Shelf Awareness for Readers
The Best American Short Stories 2014 will be selected by national best-selling author Jennifer Egan, who won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction for A Visit from the Goon Squad, heralded by Time magazine as “a new classic of American fiction.” Egan “possesses a satirists eye and a romance novelists heart” (New York Times Book Review).
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.
About the Author
JENNIFER EGAN is the author of The Invisible Circus, which was released as a feature film by Fine Line in 2001, Emerald City and Other Stories, Look at Me, which was nominated for the National Book Award in 2001, and the bestselling The Keep. Her latest book, A Visit From the Goon Squad, a national bestseller, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, and the LA Times Book Prize. 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 novels The Birthdays and The Daylight Marriage.
Table of Contents
Introduction by Laura Furman, Series Editor
"Uncle Rock" by Dagoberto Gilb, The New Yorker
"The Vandercook" by Alice Mattison, Ecotone
"Leak" by Sam Ruddick, The Threepenny Review
"Nothing Living Lives Alone" by Wendell Berry, The Threepenny Review
"The First Wife" by Christine Sneed, New England Review
"A Birth in the Woods" by Kevin Wilson, Ecotone
"Naima" by Hisham Matar, The New Yorker
"Mickey Mouse" by Karl Taro Greenfeld, Santa Monica Review
"Things Said or Done' by Ann Packer, Zoetrope
"East of the West" by Miroslav Penkov, Orion
"A Brush" by John Berger, Harper’s
"Kindness" by Yiyun Li, A Public Space
"Phantoms" by Steven Millhauser, McSweeney’s Quarterly
"Boys Town" by Jim Shepard, The New Yorker
"The Hare’s Mask" by Mark Slouka, Harper’s
"Eyewall" by Lauren Groff, Subtropics
"Rothko Eggs" by Keith Ridgway, Zoetrope
"The Deep" by Anthony Doerr, Zoetrope
"The Woman Who Lived in the House" by Salvatore Scibona, A Public Space
"Corrie" by Alice Munro, The New Yorker
Reading The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2012
The Jurors on Their Favorites: Mary Gaitskill, Daniyal Mueenuddin, Ron Rash
Writing The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2012
The Writers on Their Work
Recommended Stories 2012