Prize Stories 1996: The O. Henry Awards

Prize Stories 1996: The O. Henry Awards

by William Abrahams
     
 

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For the past three decades, William Abrahams has  selected the O. Henry Award winners. Building on  a tradition that spans over three quarters of a  century, The O. Henry Awards has been "widely  regarded as the nation's most prestigious awards  for short fiction" (The Atlantic  Monthly).

Overview

For the past three decades, William Abrahams has  selected the O. Henry Award winners. Building on  a tradition that spans over three quarters of a  century, The O. Henry Awards has been "widely  regarded as the nation's most prestigious awards  for short fiction" (The Atlantic  Monthly). Every year, Abrahams has chosen a  diverse group of stories and writers to creat a  collection that includes perennial favorites as well  as an increasing number of lesser known writers,  many of whom have gone on to become seminal voices  in current American fiction. Prize  Stories 1996 is both William Abrahams's  thirtieth anniversary as Editor of this landmark  collection and his last, which gives this collection a  special resonance. The twenty or more stories  selected for this honor each yhear are culled from a  broad range of American magazines both large and  small, offering the reader the full sweep and variety  of today's fiction. As in previous years,  Prize Stories 1996 concludes with a  contributors' notes section including comments by the  writers on the inspirations behind their stories,  providing readers with a unique entrée into the  writers' creative processes. Representing the  excellence of contemporary fiction writing, these stories  demonstrate the continuing strenghth and vitality  of the American short story.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In the introduction to this, the 30th annual edition of the O. Henry awards he has edited, Abrahams announces that this will be his last year as series editor. Oddly, one of the weaker stories in this year's collection is the one to which Abrahams has awarded first prize, Stephen King's "The Man in the Black Suit." Likewise, Joyce Carol Oates weighs in with a rather run-of-the-mill story, "Mark of Satan," but other established writers are nicely showcased by fine work, such as Alice Adams's "His Women," and Jane Smiley's "The Life of the Body." There are also strong stories from up- and- coming writers Ralph Lombreglia and Elizabeth Graver. Abrahams has always been refreshingly open to new voices, and two relative unknowns make especially strong appearances: Lucy Honig with "Citizens Review," about a racially loaded confrontation between police and residents of a poor neighborhood; and Tom Paine, whose "Will You Say Something, Monsieur Eliot," tells of a shipwrecked wealthy American who is rescued by a group of Haitian refugees. Although this may not be one of the best collections Abrahams has ever assembled, it provides ample reminder that his presence on the American literary scene will be sorely missed. (Apr.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385481823
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/01/1996
Series:
Prize Stories Series
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.00(d)

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