Best New American Voices 2008
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Best New American Voices 2008

by John Kulka, Natalie Danford
     
 

Critically acclaimed novelist and short story writer Richard Bausch 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 such as the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Johns Hopkins and from summer

Overview


Critically acclaimed novelist and short story writer Richard Bausch 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 such as the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Johns Hopkins and from summer conferences such as 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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

PRAISE FOR THE BEST NEW AMERICAN VOICES SERIES

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

"Demonstrates the potent force of American writers emerging from such distinguished writing programs as Bread Loaf and Sewanee. These collected works draw the reader into varied worlds of experience."--Elle

Kirkus Reviews
A lively range of "startlingly original voices, and vivid, sophisticated sensibilities" is displayed in the latest installment of this always welcome annual. As this year's editor, short-story writer Bausch explains, the nation's writing workshops continue to provide crucibles for impressively varied developing talents. Evidence abounds in the volume's first two stories: a richly imagined realistic narrative in which a morose widower's tense relationship with his adult daughter is complicated, and paradoxically enriched, by the death of their family's beloved pet dog (Tucker Capps's "Alice"); and a mordant, gripping fantasy (Jedediah Berry's "Inheritance") about a suburban husband obliged to deal with his macho father's "legacy": a hirsute "beast" discovered in his cellar, which excites his neighbors' fears and his wife's protective fascination. The other 15 stories trace a widening arc, from chronicles of adolescent and young-adult longing and bafflement (Jordan McMullin's "Mouse"; Oriane Gabrielle Delfosse's "Men and Boys"; Stefan McKinstray's "No One Here Says What They Mean"), to compact bildungsromans set in such distant locales as Bangladesh (Razia Sultana Khan's ironic "Alms"), Cambodia (Sharon May's "The Wizard of Kao-I-Dang") and Israel's West Bank (Adam Stumacher's marvelous "The Neon Desert"). Though several stories feel formulaic or strained (notably, Christopher Stokes's very odd "The Man Who Ate Michael Rockefeller"), several others are standouts. In "Headlock," Dan Pinkerton deftly dramatizes a suburban crisis involving a depressed industrial-arts teacher, his straying wife and the teenaged hunk who challenges the cuckolded spouse to change his life. Peter Mountford offers a wry variation on W. Somerset Maugham's exotica in a rich study of generational and cultural conflict ("Horizon") set in Sri Lanka. In "Surfacing," Lauren Groff depicts with firm economy the strange lifelong relationship of a rich girl crippled during the 1918 influenza epidemic and the former Olympic athlete who saves, and forever alters, her life. A mixed bag, but the choicest morsels are well worth digging for.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780156031493
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
10/08/2007
Series:
Best New American Voices Series
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

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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