American Fiction: The Best in Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging Writers

American Fiction: The Best in Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging Writers

by Michael C. White

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The quality of the work in the fourth collection in this series is disappointingly uneven. While several selections are compelling for settings that evoke moods of quiet desperation, the stories often withhold crucial details about characters' lives, leaving readers with many unanswered questions. Joshua Sinel's tale of a couple grieving over the death of their daughter, for instance, fails to convey a sense of who the daughter was. Annie Dawid doesn't develop her characters fully in her tale of a 20-year-old alcoholic who blames her divorced parents for ``her ill-equipped and so-far-failing venture to adulthood.'' The most accomplished of the stories is Clint McCown's portrait of an ailing, retired car salesman who derives anarchistic pleasure from keeping mules outside his glassed-in patio. To him, their braying, is ``solid and strong, with a wild streak flashing crazily through its heart.'' The collection does harbor a wide range of voices and styles, including Alyce Miller's powerful tale of a white teenager trying to pass among her black friends and David Conrad's lyrical depiction of a half-Vietnamese boy's search for his American G.I. father. White teaches writing at Springfield College; Davis is the author of Rumors from the Lost World. (July)
Library Journal
As the sixth edition of American Fiction (the fourth by Birch Lane Pr.), this volume contains 20 stories by ``emerging writers,'' or those who ``are not yet famous enough to enjoy the certainty of publication elsewhere.'' The result of a competition judged by Wallace Stegner, the book opens with the first-prize winner ``Mule Collector'' by Clint McCown, who also wrote the winner of 1990's competition. This story, like the others, is ``derived from middle-class white American life, most especially from the family and its strains,'' which Stegner points out in his introduction as the weakness of the collection. The two stories that the editors say ``deal with black experience'' are both written from a white person's point of view. Most of the stories are skillfully written, however, and deal with interesting topics. Not a vital purchase, but possibly of interest.-- Marie F. Jones, Muskingum Coll. Lib., New Concord, Ohio

Product Details

Carol Publishing Group
Publication date:
American Fiction Series
Product dimensions:
5.42(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.02(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >