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Best Stories of the American West, Volume I

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Overview

Here is a collection of the best contemporary short stories of the American West by a diverse group of writers, young and old, male and female, well-known and not-so-known. And for the first time there appears, side-by-side, the work of so-called “traditional” Western writers, such as Max Evans, Elmer Kelton, and Elmore Leonard, and the “literary” contingent, represented by William Kittredge, Valerie Miner, and Luis Alberto Urrea.

Taken together, these twenty-two stories, five ...

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Overview

Here is a collection of the best contemporary short stories of the American West by a diverse group of writers, young and old, male and female, well-known and not-so-known. And for the first time there appears, side-by-side, the work of so-called “traditional” Western writers, such as Max Evans, Elmer Kelton, and Elmore Leonard, and the “literary” contingent, represented by William Kittredge, Valerie Miner, and Luis Alberto Urrea.

Taken together, these twenty-two stories, five appearing for the first time in print, create an unparalleled picture of an enormously complex region and a gallery of memorable characters and human conflicts.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Wyatt Earp was a lousy lover but a very shrewd judge of people. You'll learn that in Owen Wister Award winner Richard S. Wheeler's "Hearts." Some Indians can play basketball—PEN/Malamud Award winner Sherman Alexie shows us that in "What Ever Happened to Frank Snake Church?" There are 18 more fine stories in editor Jaffe's collection, by such big-name writers as Elmore Leonard, William Kittredge, and Elmer Kelton. But don't be fooled—this is not a book of Western stories. Here, you're just as likely to meet a pilot, a deep-sea fisherman, or a redneck as you are a gunslinger like Earp. Jaffe's theme is not really "the West"; rather, it's loss. Every story is about losing someone or something—family, friends, innocence, faith. A fine collection of American short stories good for larger fiction collections everywhere; this shouldn't be put with the Westerns.
—Ken St. Andre
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765310903
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 4/15/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.47 (w) x 8.89 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

MARC JAFFE, an editor and publisher—for eighteen years Editorial Director at Bantam Books—has had decades-long experience with writing of the West, beginning with his first job in publishing as Western Editor at New American Library.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Cursory glance...

    Bought this for my Grandpa, who just turned 90 and can't get enough Louis L'Amour. After reading through it I realized that while the stories *are* interesting (I even got pulled in to a couple!) the writing style is much more contemporary than he likes. I'm sure it's a grand book, but I took it back to get a collection of L'Amour's work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2007

    More than shootouts!

    If you¿re expecting a high noon shootout on some dusty street in a cow town, you¿ll be pleasantly surprised with this collection of stories of the American West. The authors Editor Marc Jaffe selected for this volume is a Who¿s Who of Western writers: Sherman Alexie, Johnny D. Boggs, Richard Cass, Max Evans, Pete Fromm, John Graves, Drum Hadley, Elmer Kelton, William Kittredge, Elmore Leonard, Bruce Machart, Valerie Miner, Steven Patterson, John Rember, John Sayles, Robert Stubblefield, Geronimo Tagatac, Melanie Ray Thon, Luis Alberto Urrea and Richard S. Wheeler. The selections include the classic Western and contemporary stories of Western life that explores emotions and relationships. With the inclusion of Western poet Drum Hadley¿s work, Jaffe has truly given us a broad scope of Western genre writing. Marc Jaffe has put together a highly readable collection of work that goes beyond the Western pulp fiction of 50 years ago. He has selected stories with depth and feeling more than high noon shootouts. At the same time any Western fan will enjoy stories of ranching, cowboying, Native American culture, women of the West and all that goes with a good tale told. Best Stories of the American West transcends genre definitions and allows the reader to experience the West I ways both familiar and singular. This collection reflects the extraordinary complexity and subtlety of the Western experience. Individually, these 20 stories¿five of which are appearing for the first time in book form¿delight the reader and capture the imagination. Taken together, they create an unparalleled picture of old and new America with a cast of memorable and pioneer Americans. Best Stories of the American West is a book that will surprise, entertain and enlighten.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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