Synopses & Reviews
Since its inception in 1915, the Best American series has become the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction. For each volume, a series editor reads pieces from hundreds of periodicals, then selects between fifty and a hundred outstanding works. That selection is pared down to twenty or so very best pieces by a guest editor who is widely recognized as a leading writer in his or her field. This unique system has helped make the Best American series the most respected and most popular of its kind.
Lending a fresh perspective to a perennial favorite, Walter Mosley has chosen unforgettable short stories by both renowned writers and exciting newcomers. The Best American Short Stories 2003 features poignant tales that explore the nuances of family life and love, birth and death. Here are stories that will, as Mosley writes in his introduction, "live with the reader long after the words have been translated into ideas and dreams. That's because a good short story crosses the borders of our nations and our prejudices and our beliefs."
- Dorothy Allison
- Edwidge Danticat
- E. L. Doctorow
- Louise Erdrich
- Adam Haslett
- ZZ Packer
- Mona Simpson
- Mary Yukari Waters
- and more!
"Mosley has selected dazzling, unsettling new work by...brilliantly imaginative, compassionate, and artistic storytellers...whose stories touch on every phase of life." Booklist
"The latest BASS, while full of talent, is ultimately an echo of successes past....Not bad, but far from the best and not even the best anthology to have appeared this year." Kirkus Reviews
No other annual story collection delivers the quality, excitement, and visibility of the renowned Best American Short Stories. It is the only volume selected by a new best-selling author each year, for a guarantee of fresh perspectives, diverse tastes, and intriguing discoveries. Recent editors have included such luminaries as Barbara Kingsolver, E. L. Doctorow, Annie Proulx, Amy Tan, and Garrison Keillor. This year's volume surprises with selections chosen by Walter Mosley from magazines that range from Esquire to Tin House, from The New Yorker to Callaloo, from Harper's to McSweeney's.
About the Author
Walter Mosley (guest editor) is the award-winning author of the story collection Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned
and its sequel, Walkin the Dog
, as well as five Easy Rawlins mysteries. His novel RJ's Dream
was a finalist for the NAACP Award in Fiction.
Katrina Kenison has been the series editor of The Best American Short Stories since 1990. She currently resides in Massachusetts.
Table of Contents
Foreword ix Introduction: Americans Dreaming, by Walter Mosley xiii
Mary Yukari Waters. Rationing 1 from Missouri Review
Susan Straight. Mines 16 from Zoetrope
Mona Simpson. Coins 28 from Harpers Magazine
Jess Row. Heaven Lake 38 from The Harvard Review
Emily Ishem Raboteau. Kavita Through Glass 51 from Tin House
Sharon Pomerantz. Ghost Knife 62 from Ploughshares
Marilene Phipps. Marie-Anges Ginen 80 from Callaloo
Dean Paschal. Moriya 91 from Ontario Review
ZZ Packer. Every Tongue Shall Confess 113 from Ploughshares
Nicole Krauss. Future Emergencies 128 from Esquire
Adam Haslett. Devotion 140 from The Yale Review
Ryan Harty. Why the Sky Turns Red When the Sun Goes Down 155 from Tin House
Louise Erdrich. Shamengwa 173 from The New Yorker
Anthony Doerr. The Shell Collector 189 from The Chicago Review
E. L. Doctorow. Baby Wilson 214 from The New Yorker
Edwidge Danticat. Night Talkers 233 from Callaloo
Rand Richards Cooper. Johnny Hamburger 253 from Esquire
Dan Chaon. The Bees 268 from McSweeneys
Kevin Brockmeier. Space 286 from The Georgia Review
Dorothy Allison. Compassion 297 from Tin House
Contributors Notes 327 100 Other Distinguished Stories of 2002 341 Editorial Addresses of American and Canadian Magazines Publishing Short Stories 345