Best New American Voices 2007

Overview

Bestselling novelist and acclaimed teacher Sue Miller continues the tradition of identifying the best young writers on the cusp of their careers in this year?s volume of Best New American Voices. Here are stories culled from hundreds of writing programs like the Iowa Writers? Workshop and Johns Hopkins and from summer confer- ences like Sewanee and Bread Loaf?as well as a complete list of contact information for these programs. This collection showcases tomorrow?s literary stars: Julie Orringer, Adam Johnson, ...

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Overview

Bestselling novelist and acclaimed teacher Sue Miller continues the tradition of identifying the best young writers on the cusp of their careers in this year’s volume of Best New American Voices. Here are stories culled from hundreds of writing programs like the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Johns Hopkins and from summer confer- ences like Sewanee and Bread Loaf—as well as a complete list of contact information for these programs. This collection showcases tomorrow’s literary stars: Julie Orringer, Adam Johnson, William Gay, David Benioff, Rattawut Lapcharoensap, Maile Meloy, Amanda Davis, Jennifer Vanderbes, and John Murray are just some of the acclaimed authors whose early work has appeared in this series since its launch in 2000. The best new American voices are heard here first.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
PRAISE FOR BEST NEW AMERICAN VOICES 2006

"These ambitious stories reflect the imaginations of a generation and are a sneak preview of coming attractions in fiction."—Chicago Tribune (Editor's Choice)

"Extraordinarily wellcrafted and intense. All are dramatized in unpredictable and indelible ways. Aspiring writers will learn a great deal from this exciting collection."—Booklist

Library Journal
Editor Miller's (While I Was Gone) 16 mostly noteworthy selections don't lack for diversity or delightful quirkiness, although they occasionally veer into staid traditionalism in terms of form. She begins with Alice J. Marshall's "By Any Other Name," which focuses on a married couple's struggles when the wife is struck with a serious illness. Yiyun Li's "Persimmons" is about a group of Chinese villagers whose members use dark humor while reminiscing over the murder of an apparent revolutionary and village native. One of the tenderest stories is Anne de Marcken's "Ashes," in which a sophisticated 72-year-old attempts to honor her deceased husband by tossing his ashes into the sea but has trouble mustering the energy or concern to finish the job. Though Miller's tastes seem to lean toward The New Yorker style of fiction, the tales in this collection, presented by series editors John Kulka (senior editor, Yale Univ. Pr.) and book critic Natalie Danford and culled from hundreds of writing programs and conferences, are generally moving and worthy of an anthology. Other writers include Ellen Litman, Lydia Peelle, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Caimeen Garrett, and Fatima Rashid. Recommended. Kevin Greczek, Trenton Times, NJ Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This latest collection of stories from US and Canadian writing programs is vibrant and diverse, well up to the high standard set by its predecessors. Novelist Miller (Lost in the Forest, 2005, etc.) has assembled 15 stories, all roughly contemporary, except "The Temperate Family," by Caimeen Garrett, a remarkable account of an anguished father's search for his kidnapped son in 1876. As before, the immigrant experience is well-represented: Russians in Pittsburgh (Ellen Litman's "About Kamyshinskiy"), Indians in Houston (Keya Mitra's "Pompeii Recreated") and a Pakistani in limbo (Fatima Rashid's "Syra"). The standout in this group is "A Correct Life," Viet Thanh Nguyen's story about Liem, an 18-year-old Vietnamese who flees Saigon in 1975 and is taken in by a gay couple in San Francisco-culture shock has seldom been so perceptively rendered. American families experience shocks of their own. Blue-collar father and college-dropout son circle each other grimly after the old man's divorce ("Karaoke Night," by Dan Pope); sparks fly when alcoholic, four-times-married Frederick the Third shows up for his grandfather's funeral and finds forgiveness in short supply ("The Freddies," by M.O. Walsh). Another grandfather, dying in Puerto Rico, gets no respect from his son or grandson, who are off partying elsewhere in the Caribbean; for sheer exuberance, nothing beats this freewheeling story by Kevin A. Gonzalez ("Wake"). Equally good, in a quieter way, is Anne de Marcken's "Ashes"; here, a widow ponders the gap between image and reality as she scatters her husband's ashes. Sometimes characters are dwarfed by a theme (exurban development obliterating American folklore, in Lydia Peelle's "Shadow on aWeary Land"); sometimes a character sketch serves for a story, whether it's a control freak masquerading as a good neighbor (Alice J. Marshall's "By Any Other Name") or a black postgraduate struggling with a drug habit (T. Geronimo Johnson's "Winter Never Quits"); yet there is fine observation even in these lesser offerings. There is nothing tentative in this collection-these are fully formed talents.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780156031554
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/2/2006
  • Series: Best New American Voices Series
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

John Kulka is executive editor-at-large at Harvard University Press and lives in Connecticut.

Natalie Danford is a freelance writer and book critic whose work has appeared in People, Salon, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Sun-Times, and many other publications. She is the author of a novel, Inheritance, and lives in New York City.

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Table of Contents

Preface vii
Introduction by Sue Miller xi
BY ANY OTHER NAME by Alice J. Marshall 
ABOUT KAMYSHINSKIY by Ellen Litman 
SHADOW ON A WEARY LAND by Lydia Peelle 
PERSIMMONSS by Yiyun Li 
THE FREDDIESS by M. O. Walsh 
A CORRECT LIFE by Viet Thanh Nguyen 
THE TEMPERATE FAMILY by Caimeen Garrett 
SYRA by Fatima Rashid 
WAKE by Kevin A. González 
ASHES by Anne de Marcken 
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO SÉBASTIEN GROSJEAN?  
by Robert Liddell
THE INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR OF OUR ALLEGED  
LOVED ONES by Ryan Effgen
POMPEII RECREATED by Keya Mitra 
KARAOKE NIGHT by Dan Pope 
WINTER NEVER QUITS by T. Geronimo Johnson 
Contributors 
Participants 

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