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Anthology

Best American Short Stories 2004

Best American Short Stories 2004

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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.
Lorrie Moore brings her keen eye for wit and surprise to the volume, and The Best American Short Stories 2004 is an eclectic and enthralling gathering of well-known voices and talented up-and-comers. Here are stories that probe the biggest issues: ambition, gender, romance, war. Here are funny and touching and striking tales of a Spokane Indian, the estranged wife of an Iranian immigrant, an American tutor in Bombay. In her introduction Lorrie Moore writes, The stories collected here impressed me with their depth of knowledge and feeling of character, setting, and situation . . . They spoke with amused intelligence, compassion, and dispassion.
Best American Short Stories 2005

Best American Short Stories 2005

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The Best American Series First, Best, and Best-Selling

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

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.

Best American Short Stories 2006

Best American Short Stories 2006

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"While a single short story may have a difficult time raising enough noise on its own to be heard over the din of civilization, short stories in bulk can have the effect of swarming bees, blocking out sound and sun and becoming the only thing you can think about," writes Ann Patchett in her introduction to The Best American Short Stories 2006.

This vibrant, varied sampler of the American literary scene revels in life's little absurdities, captures timely personal and cultural challenges, and ultimately shares subtle insight and compassion. In "The View from Castle Rock," the short story master Alice Munro imagines a fictional account of her Scottish ancestors' emigration to Canada in 1818. Nathan Englander's cast of young characters in "How We Avenged the Blums" confronts a bully dubbed "The Anti-Semite" to both comic and tragic ends. In "Refresh, Refresh," Benjamin Percy gives a forceful, heart-wrenching look at a young man's choices when his father -- along with most of the men in his small town -- is deployed to Iraq. Yiyun Li's "After a Life" reveals secrets, hidden shame, and cultural change in modern China. And in "Tatooizm," Kevin Moffett weaves a story full of humor and humanity about a young couple's relationship that has run its course.

Ann Patchett "brought unprecedented enthusiasm and judiciousness [to The Best American Short Stories 2006]," writes Katrina Kenison in her foreword, "and she is, surely, every story writer's ideal reader, eager to love, slow to fault, exquisitely attentive to the text and all that lies beneath it."

Best American Short Stories 2008

Best American Short Stories 2008

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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

Best American Short Stories 2010

Best American Short Stories 2010

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Edited by the award-winning, best-selling author Richard Russo, this year's 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, America's oldest and best-selling story anthology is sure to be of "enduring quality" (Chicago Tribune) this year.
Best American Short Stories 2011

Best American Short Stories 2011

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The Best American Series(R)
First, Best, and Best-Selling

The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume's 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

Best American Short Stories 2012

Best American Short Stories 2012

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The Best American Series(R)
First, Best, and Best-Selling

The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume's 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 2012 includes

Nathan Englander, Mary Gaitskill, Roxane Gay, Jennifer Haigh,
Steven Millhauser, Alice Munro, Lawrence Osborne, Eric Puchner,
George Saunders, Kate Walbert, and others

Best American Short Stories 2013

Best American Short Stories 2013

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"As our vision becomes more global, our storytelling is stretching in many ways. Stories increasingly change point of view, switch location, and sometimes pack as much material as a short novel might," writes guest editor Elizabeth Strout. "It's the variety of voices that most indicates the increasing confluence of cultures involved in making us who we are." The Best American Short Stories 2013 presents an impressive diversity of writers who dexterously lead us into their corners of the world.

In "Miss Lora," Junot Díaz masterfully puts us in the mind of a teenage boy who throws aside his better sense and pursues an intimate affair with a high school teacher. Sheila Kohler tackles innocence and abuse as a child wanders away from her mother, in thrall to a stranger she believes is the "Magic Man." Kirstin Valdez Quade's "Nemecia" depicts the after-effects of a secret, violent family trauma. Joan Wickersham's "The Tunnel" is a tragic love story about a mother's declining health and her daughter's helplessness as she struggles to balance her responsibility to her mother and her own desires. New author Callan Wink's "Breatharians" unsettles the reader as a farm boy shoulders a grim chore in the wake of his parents' estrangement.
"Elizabeth Strout was a wonderful reader, an author who knows well that the sound of one's writing is just as important as and indivisible from the content," writes series editor Heidi Pitlor. "Here are twenty compellingly told, powerfully felt stories about urgent matters with profound consequences."

Best American Short Stories 2014

Best American Short Stories 2014

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"The literary 'Oscars' features twenty outstanding examples of the best of the best in American short stories." -- Shelf Awareness for Readers

The Best American Short Stories 2014 will be selected by national best-selling author Jennifer Egan, who won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction for A Visit from the Goon Squad, heralded by Time magazine as "a new classic of American fiction." Egan "possesses a satirist's eye and a romance novelist's heart" (New York Times Book Review).

Best American Short Stories 2015

Best American Short Stories 2015

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In his introduction to this one hundredth volume of the beloved Best American Short Stories, guest editor T. C. Boyle writes, "The Model T gave way to the Model A and to the Ferrari and the Prius . . . modernism to postmodernism and post-postmodernism. We advance. We progress. We move on. But we are part of a tradition."

Boyle's choices of stories reflect a vibrant range of characters, from a numb wife who feels alive only in the presence of violence to a new widower coming to terms with his sudden freedom, from a missing child to a champion speedboat racer. These stories will grab hold and surprise, which according to Boyle is "what the best fiction offers, and there was no shortage of such in this year's selections."

Mulling over the question of character likability, series editor Heidi Pitlor asks, "Did I like these characters? I very much liked reading their stories, as did T. C. Boyle." Here are characters who "are living, breathing people who screw up terribly and want and need and think uneasy thoughts."

T. C. BOYLE, guest editor, has published fifteen novels and ten collections of short stories. He won the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1988 for his novel World's End and the Prix Médicis étranger for The Tortilla Curtain in 1995, as well as the 2014 Henry David Thoreau Prize for excellence in nature writing. His most recent book is the novel The Harder They Come.

HEIDI PITLOR, series editor, is a former senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She is the author of the novels The Birthdays and The Daylight Marriage.

Best American Short Stories 2016

Best American Short Stories 2016

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"The literary 'Oscars' features twenty outstanding examples of the best of the best in American short stories." --Shelf Awareness for Readers

The Best American Short Stories 2016

will be selected by Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz. He brings "one of the most distinctive and magnetic voices in contemporary fiction: limber, streetwise, caffeinated and wonderfully eclectic" (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times) to the collection.
Best American Short Stories 2017

Best American Short Stories 2017

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Best-selling author Meg Wolitzer guest edits the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction.

"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. To cast a vote for what you love and then wait for the outcome," writes Meg Wolitzer in her introduction. The Best American Short Stories 2017 casts a vote for and celebrates all that is our country. 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.

The Best American Short Stories 2017 includes
T. C. BOYLE - JAI CHAKRABARTI - EMMA CLINE - DANIELLE EVANS - LAUREN GROFF - ERIC PUCHNER - JIM SHEPARD - CURTIS SITTENFELD - JESS WALTER
and others

Best American Short Stories 2018

Best American Short Stories 2018

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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.

"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. 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."

Best American Short Stories 2019

Best American Short Stories 2019

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#1 New York Times best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anthony Doerr brings his"stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors" (San Francisco Chronicle) to selecting The Best American Short Stories 2019.

"As soon as you complete a description of what a good story must be, a new example flutters through an open window, lands on your sleeve, and proves your description wrong," writes Anthony Doerr about the task of selecting The Best American Short Stories 2019. The year's best stories are a diverse, addictive group exploring everything from America's rich rural culture to its online teen culture to the fragile nature of the therapist-client relationship. This astonishing collection brings together the realistic and dystopic, humor and terror. For Doerr, "with every new artist, we simultaneously refine and expand our understanding of what the form can be."

The Best American Short Stories 2019 includes Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Jamel Brinkley, Jeffrey Eugenides, Ursula K. Le Guin, Manuel Muñoz, Sigrid Nunez, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, Jim Shepherd, Weike Wang, and others.

Best American Short Stories 2020

Best American Short Stories 2020

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"To read their stories felt to me the way I suspect other people feel hearing jazz for the first time," recalls Curtis Sittenfeld of her initial encounter with the Best American Short Stories series. "They were windows into emotions I had and hadn't had, into other settings and circumstances and observations and relationships." Decades later, Sittenfeld was met by the same feeling selecting the stories for this year's edition. The result is a striking and nuanced collection, bringing to life awkward college students, disgraced public figures, raunchy grandparents, and mystical godmothers. To read these stories is to experience the transporting joys of discovery and affirmation, and to realize that story writing in America continues to flourish.

THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 2020 INCLUDES T. C. BOYLE - EMMA CLINE - MARY GAITSKILL

ANDREA LEE - ELIZABETH McCRACKEN - ALEJANDRO PUYANA WILLIAM PEI SHIH - KEVIN WILSON and others

Best American Short Stories 2021

Best American Short Stories 2021

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A collection of the year's best stories selected by celebrated two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward

In her introduction to The Best American Short Stories 2021, guest editor JesmynWard says that the best fiction offers the reader a "sense of repair."The stories in this year's collection accomplish just that, immersing the reader in powerfully imagined worlds and allowing them to bring some of that power into their own lives. From a stirring portrait of Rodney King's final days to a surreal video game set in the Middle East, with real consequences, to an indigenous boy's gripping escape from his captors, this collection renders profoundly empathetic depictions of the variety of human experience. These stories are poignant reminders of the possibilities of fiction: as you sink into world after world, become character after character, as Ward writes, you"forget yourself, and then, upon surfacing, know yourself and others anew.

The Best American Short Stories 2021 includes
GABRIEL BUMP - BRANDON HOBSON - DAVID MEANS- JANE PEK - TRACEY ROSE PEYTON - GEORGE SAUNDERS - BRYAN WASHINGTON - KEVIN WILSON - C PAM ZHANG and others

Best American Short Stories of the Century

Best American Short Stories of the Century

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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. Here are the stories that have endured the test of time: masterworks by such writers as Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Willa Cather, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Saroyan, Flannery O'Connor, John Cheever, Eudora Welty, Philip Roth, Joyce Carol Oates, Raymond Carver, Cynthia Ozick, and scores of others. 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. Their artistry is represented splendidly in these pages. 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. Collections from years past yielded a rich harvest of surprises, stories that may have been forgotten but still retain their relevance and luster. 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. 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. Updike worked with coeditor Katrina Kenison to choose stories from each decade that meet his own high standards of literary quality.
Best American Spiritual Writing 2008

Best American Spiritual Writing 2008

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In his introduction to this volume, President Jimmy Carter writes that The Best American Spiritual Writing "approaches the writing of both poetry and prose as a spiritual discipline, a way to explore the mysteries of the soul and the soul's relationship with God." As always, editor Philip Zaleski has assembled a wide-ranging and wonderfully eclectic collection that delves headlong into that spiritual discipline, looking to inspire, provoke, and offer insight into modern spirituality and religion.
Here you will find Walter Isaacson's brilliant and provocative portrait of Einstein's religious life--a cross between his parents' secularism, his native Judaism, and his Catholic grade-school education. Drawing from his own experience of trying to inhabit multiple worlds, Noah Feldman examines the difficulties facing faith communities as they adhere to tradition yet also strive to be modern, in "Orthodox Paradox." When "Meeting the Chinese in St. Paul," Natalie Goldberg, with the help of a broken rhinoceros fan, grapples with this question: how should I live, knowing the world is a confusing place? Pico Iyer weighs in on his tranquil retreat, the holiest place in Japan; Oliver Sacks gives a moving account of a man with retrograde amnesia, striving for a meaningful life devoid of memory; and Ursula K. Le Guin passionately explains, as only she can, the appeal and subtle morality of A. E. Housman's "A Shropshire Lad: XXXII."

Committed to literary excellence, this "invaluable collection" (Library Journal) also features poetry from distinguished voices such as Wendell Berry, Maxine Kumin, John Updike, and Charles Wright. As Zaleski writes in his foreword, The Best American Spiritual Writing 2008 proves that the writing in this edition is a stirring "medium for contemplating, via the things of the flesh, the things of the spirit."