Synopses & Reviews
An exciting new anthology of short fiction chosen by thirty-five of this country's most distinguished and popular fiction writers, You've Got to Read This
offers readers an unusually intimate glimpse into how accomplished writers experience literature. Here are stories that inspired today's leading novelists and short-story writers to embark on their own writing careers, stories that took their breath away and changed them, or the way they responded to literature, forever.
Oscar Hijuelos confesses his debt to the great Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, whose brilliant story "The Aleph" inspired him to become a writer himself. Mary Gordon stands in awe of what James Joyce wrought in "The Dead," and wonders how writers who come after him can equal it. Robert Coover writes movingly of Angela Carter and her mysterious story "Reflections," while Kenneth A. McClane says that "Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin literally saved his life.
Some of the stories presented here are classics, like Anton Chekhov's "Gooseberries," introduced by Eudora Welty, or Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," selected by Sue Miller. Some are less well known, like Lars Gustafsson's "Greatness Strikes Where It Pleases," introduced by Charles Baxter, or John Updike's "Packed Dirt, Churchgoing, a Dying Cat, a Traded Car," whose beauty stunned Lorrie Moore. All were critically important to some of our finest contemporary writers among them Annie Dillard, John Irving, Amy Tan, Louise Erdrich, Russell Banks, Jane Smiley, Bobbie Ann Mason, Tobias Wolff and their comments about the selections offer fascinating entrances into the stories.
For lovers of fiction, You've Got to Read This is a treasure trove, a dazzling collection of stories passionately and imaginatively chosen.
"A generous variety distinguishes these stories, which, refreshingly, are not lumped together according to the race, sexual preference, or gender of their authors, but simply by the love that individual readers have for them." Kirkus Reviews
"[A]n anthology of terrific tales introduced by essays that open windows onto the creative process of 35 top fiction writers.... This is almost a two-for-one deal for story-lovers: a glimpse into the reading minds of one set of popular and talented authors, together with a selection of outstanding stories by their mentors and peers." Donna Seaman, Booklist
Thirty-four of America's most distinguished fiction writers including Oscar Hijuelos, John Irving, and Joyce Carol Oates introduce the short stories that inspired them most.
Thirty-four of America's most distinguished fiction writers--including Oscar Hijuelos, John Irving, and Joyce Carol Oates--introduce the short stories that inspired them most.
About the Author
Ron Hansen is the bestselling author of the novel Atticus (a finalist for the National Book Award), Hitler's Niece, Mariette in Ecstasy, Desperadoes, and Isn't It Romantic?, as well as a collection of short stories, a collection of essays, and a book for children. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Ron Hansen lives in northern California, where he teaches at Santa Clara University.