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.”
"In this anthology series celebrating American short fiction annually since 1915, each year a different renowned writer chooses the best 20 stories of that year...Brooks does the honors impressively.
--Booklist "Though many of the names here are familiar, this powerful new work re-establishes these authors' command of the form."
--Publishers Weekly "Another stellar selection from an anthology that has sustained high standards for 35 years..Each one of these stories could establish itself as some readers favorite."
Edited by the award-winning, best-selling author Geraldine Brooks, this year’s collection will be another "sure bet for gripping, emotional challenging reading" (San Diego Union-Tribune). With Brooks picking the best of the best, America’s oldest and best-selling story anthology is sure to satisfy this year.
This brilliant collection, edited by the award-winning and perennially provocative Salman Rushdie, boasts a magnificent array” (Library Journal) of voices both new and recognized.With Rushdie at the helm, the 2008 edition reflects the variety of substance and style and the consistent quality that readers have come to expect” (Publishers Weekly).
We all live in and with and by stories, every day, whoever and wherever we are. The freedom to tell each other the stories of ourselves, to retell the stories of our culture and beliefs, is profoundly connected to the larger subject of freedom itself.”Salman Rushdie, editor
The Best American Short Stories 2008 includes KEVIN BROCKMEIER ALLEGRA GOODMAN A. M. HOMES NICOLE KRAUSS JONATHAN LETHEM STEVEN MILLHAUSER DANIYAL MUEENUDDIN ALICE MUNRO GEORGE SAUNDERS TOBIAS WOLFF and others
The Best American Short Stories 2008 gathers an array of inventive and unforgettable stories. Favorite and newcomer writers explore contemporary topics such as cloning, literary envy, cults, and teenage sex, as well as timeless subjects: love, sibling rivalry, immigration, and religion.
In Kevin Brockmeiers stunning The Year of Silence,” an unnamed city must face the absence of all sound, followed by an excess of noise. Katie Chases bold and unsettling story, Man and Wife,” her first one published, brings to life an arranged marriage between a nine-year-old and a grown man. In A. M. Homess May We Be Forgiven,” two brothers rivalry undoes their marriages and eventually their lives. Nicole Krauss writes of an inherited desk that comes to represent the burden of memory for a poet in her beautiful story, From the Desk of Daniel Varsky.” And Stephen Millhausers ingenious The Wizard of West Orange” imagines Edison and his colleagues inventing machines dedicated to the sense of touch.
In his introduction, Salman Rushdie writes, Some of these stories are immense, the so-called grand narratives of nation, race, and faith, and others are small: family stories, and stories of elective affinities, of the friends we choose, the places we know, and the people we love; but we all live in and with and by stories, every day, whoever and wherever we are.” The cultural relevance and intellectual potential of the short story are on display in this years volume of the best-selling collection.
Edited by critically acclaimed, best-selling author Alice Sebold, the stories in this year's collection serve as a provacative literary "antenna for what is going on in the world" (Chicago Tribune). The collection boasts great variety from "famous to first-timers, sifted from major magazines and little reviews, grand and little worlds" (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), ensuring yet another rewarding, eduring edition of the oldest and best-selling Best American.
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.
A collection of the year's best short stories from American periodicals as chosen by Pulizer Prize author Geraldine Brooks.
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
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.
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 novels The Birthdays and The Daylight Marriage.