Best-selling, award-winning, pop culture powerhouse Roxane Gay guest edits this year’s Best American Short Stories, the premier annual showcase for the country’s finest short fiction.
We meet a rebellious summer camper, a Twitter addict, and an Appalachian preacher—all characters and circumstances that show us what we “need to know about the lives of others.
“I am looking for the artful way any given story is conveyed,” writes Roxane Gay in her introduction to The Best American Short Stories 2018, “but I also love when a story has a powerful message, when a story teaches me something about the world.
” The artful, profound, and sometimes funny stories Gay chose for the collection transport readers from a fraught family reunion to an immigration detention center, from a psychiatric hospital to a coed class sleepover in a natural history museum.
The Best American Short Stories is the longest running and best-selling series of short fiction in the country.
Series editor Heidi Pitlor recounts behind-the-scenes anecdotes and examines, decade by decade, the trends captured over a hundred years.
” These forty stories represent their eras but also stand the test of time.
” Nancy Hale’s story describes far-reaching echoes of the Holocaust; Tillie Olsen’s story expresses the desperation of a single mother; James Baldwin depicts the bonds of brotherhood and music.
” Here are the varied styles of Donald Barthelme, Charles Baxter, and Jamaica Kincaid.
LORRIE MOORE, after many years as a professor of creative writing at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is now the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University.
She is the author of the novels The Birthdays and The Daylight Marriage.
For the centennial celebration of this beloved annual series, master of the form Lorrie Moore selects forty stories from the more than two thousand that were published in previous editions.
Together, the stories and commentary offer an extraordinary guided tour through a century of literature with what Moore calls “all its wildnesses of character and voice.
Here is Ernest Hemingway’s first published story and a classic by William Faulkner, who admitted in his biographical note that he began to write “as an aid to love-making.
Here is Raymond Carver’s “minimalism,” a term he disliked, and Grace Paley’s “secular Yiddishkeit.
From Junot Díaz to Mary Gaitskill, from ZZ Packer to Sherman Alexie, these writers and stories explore the different things it means to be American.
” 100 Years of The Best American Short Stories is an invaluable testament, a retrospective of our country’s ever-changing but continually compelling literary artistry.
HEIDI PITLOR is a former senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and has been the series editor of The Best American Short Stories since 2007.
Moore writes that the process of assembling these stories allowed her to look “thrillingly not just at literary history but at actual history — the cries and chatterings, silences and descriptions of a nation in flux.
Moore has received honors for her work, among them the Irish Times International Fiction Prize and a Lannan Foundation fellowship, as well as the PEN/Malamud Award and the Rea Award for her achievement in the short story.
Her most recent novel, A Gate at the Stairs, was short-listed for the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction and for the PEN/Faulkner Award, and her most recent story collection, Bark, was short-listed for the Story Prize and the Frank O’Connor Award.
Here are the stories that have endured the test of time: masterworks by such writers as Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Willa Cather, F.
THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES series has also always been known for making literary discoveries, and discovery proved to be an essential part of selecting the stories for this volume too.
The result is a volume that not only gathers some of the most significant stories of our century between two covers but resurrects a handful of lost literary gems as well.
Updike worked with coeditor Katrina Kenison to choose stories from each decade that meet his own high standards of literary quality.
Scott Fitzgerald, William Saroyan, Flannery O’Connor, John Cheever, Eudora Welty, Philip Roth, Joyce Carol Oates, Raymond Carver, Cynthia Ozick, and scores of others.
Their artistry is represented splendidly in these pages.
Collections from years past yielded a rich harvest of surprises, stories that may have been forgotten but still retain their relevance and luster.
Of all the great writers whose work has appeared in the series, only John Updike’s contributions have spanned five consecutive decades, from his first appearance, in 1959.
Since the series’ inception in 1915, the annual volumes of The Best American Short Stories have launched literary careers, showcased the most compelling stories of each year, and confirmed for all time the significance of the short story in our national literature.
Now THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES OF THE CENTURY brings together the best of the best – fifty-five extraordinary stories that represent a century’s worth of unsurpassed accomplishments in this quintessentially American literary genre.
These are the writers who have shaped and defined the landscape of the American short story, who have unflinchingly explored all aspects of the human condition, and whose works will continue to speak to us as we enter the next century.
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Best-selling author Meg Wolitzer guest edits the premier annual showcase for the country’s finest short fiction.
To cast a vote for what you love and then wait for the outcome,” writes Meg Wolitzer in her introduction.
“If you know exactly what you are going to get from the experience of reading a story, you probably wouldn’t go looking for it; you need, in order to be an open reader of fiction, to be willing.
The Best American Short Stories 2017 casts a vote for and celebrates all that is our country.
BOYLE • JAI CHAKRABARTI • EMMA CLINE • DANIELLE EVANS • LAUREN GROFF • ERIC PUCHNER • JIM SHEPARD • CURTIS SITTENFELD • JESS WALTERand others .
Here you’ll find a man with a boyfriend and a girlfriend, naval officers trapped on a submarine, a contestant on America’s Funniest Home Videos, and a gay man desperate to be a father—unforgettable characters waiting for an outcome, burning with stories to tell.
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