Synopses & Reviews
The Best American Series< br=""> First, Best, and Best-Selling< br=""> < br=""> The Best American series has been the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction since 1915. Each volume's series editor selects notable works from hundreds of periodicals. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the very 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. < br=""> < br=""> The Best American Short Stories 2005 includes< br=""> < br=""> Dennis Lehane & bull; Tom Perrotta & bull; Alice Munro & bull; Edward P. Jones & bull; Joy Williams & bull; Joyce Carol Oates & bull; Thomas McGuane & bull; Kelly Link & bull; Charles D'Ambrosio & bull; Cory Doctorow & bull; George Saunders & bull; and others< br=""> < br=""> Michael Chabon, guest editor, is the best-selling author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Wonder Boys, A Model World, and, most recently, The Final Solution. His novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000.
"Chabon reaches out toward genre fiction after all, he writes, a story's delights 'all boil down to entertainment, and its suave henchman, pleasure' but he doesn't go so far as to alienate fans of more traditional stories in the lively latest volume of this venerable series. He begins with a Little League baseball story by Tom Perotta ('The Smile on Happy Chang's Face'), arguably a character study but a rousing sports piece too, and Dennis Lehane's 'Until Gwen' follows 'Your father picks you up from prison in a stolen Dodge Neon, with an 8-ball of coke in the glove compartment and a hooker named Mandy in the back seat' to stir things up a little. Kelly Link contributes an elegant haunted house tale, and Cory Doctorow serves up a 'piss-take' on Orson Scott Card's 'Ender's Game' with his story of online gaming, 'Anda's Game.' Stories by Edward P. Jones, Tim Pratt, Charles D'Ambrosio and Tom Bissell skirt genre, too, though Chabon doesn't forget such Best American stalwarts as Alice Munro, Joy Williams, Joyce Carol Oates and newer writers in the more traditional vein. In the big pile of Best Ams, this one holds its own, even if yawn six of the stories come from the august New Yorker." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The always-excellent Houghton Mifflin 'Best,' with an entertaining twist....Even when repetitive (two stories about neurotical, sensitive piano-playing young boys?), the offerings are consistently interesting and often wonderfully weird." Kirkus Reviews
This year's collection is edited by the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and short story writer Michael Chabon. His eclectic selections include pieces from publications as diverse as Granta, Salon.com, Harvard Review, and the New Yorker. Another exciting installment of the always enticing, best-selling anthology.
The first and bestselling volume of its kind showcases the country's finest short fiction. This year's stories come handpicked by a beloved master of the form and are sure to feature more unforgettable characters and extraordinary writing.
The Best American series has been the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction since 1915. Each volume's series editor selects notable works from hundreds of periodicals. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the very 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 2005 includes:
Dennis Lehane Tom Perrotta Alice Munro Edward P. Jones Joy Williams Joyce Carol Oates Thomas McGuane Kelly Link Charles D'Ambrosio Cory Doctorow George Saunders and others
About the Author
Michael Chabon, guest editor, is the best-selling author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh
, Wonder Boys
, A Model World
, and, most recently, The Final Solution
. His novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000.
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 by Michael Chabon xiii
Tom Perrotta. The Smile on Happy Changs Face 1 from Post Road
Dennis Lehane. Until Gwen 19 from The Atlantic Monthly
Lynne Sharon Schwartz. A Taste of Dust 35 from Ninth Letter
Thomas McGuane. Old Friends 43 from The New Yorker
J . Robert Lennon. Eight Pieces for the Left Hand 58 from Granta
Kelly Link. Stone Animals 67 from Conjunctions
Nathaniel Bellows. First Four Measures 109 from The Paris Review
Charles DAmbrosio. The Scheme of Things 125 from The New Yorker
Alice Munro. Silence 149 from The New Yorker
Tom Bissell. Death Defier 174 from Virginia Quarterly Review
Joy Williams. The Girls 212 from Idaho Review
Cory Doctorow. Andas Game 223 from Salon.com
Alix Ohlin. Simple Exercises for the Beginning Student 251 from Swink
Edward P. Jones. Old Boys, Old Girls 265 from The New Yorker
David Means. The Secret Goldfish 288 from The New Yorker
Joyce Carol Oates. The Cousins 298 from Harpers Magazine
David Bezmozgis. Natasha 318 from Harpers Magazine
Tim Pratt. Hart and Boot 339 from Polyphony
Rishi Reddi. Justice Shiva Ram Murthy 356 from Harvard Review
George Saunders. Bohemians 374 from The New Yorker
Contributors Notes 383 100 Other Distinguished Stories of 2004 394 Editorial Addresses of American and Canadian Magazines Publishing Short Stories 398