Sudden Fiction: American Short-Short Stories

Overview

Here Are 70 of The Very Best Short-Short Stories of Recent Years Including Contributions From Such Contemporary Writers As Raymond Carver, Leonard Michaels and John Updike; A Few Modern Masters As Hemingway and Cheever; and An Assortment of Talented New Young Writers. Sudden Fiction Brilliantly Captures The Tremendous Popularity of This New and Distictly American Form.

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Overview

Here Are 70 of The Very Best Short-Short Stories of Recent Years Including Contributions From Such Contemporary Writers As Raymond Carver, Leonard Michaels and John Updike; A Few Modern Masters As Hemingway and Cheever; and An Assortment of Talented New Young Writers. Sudden Fiction Brilliantly Captures The Tremendous Popularity of This New and Distictly American Form.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The short fiction each piece is one to five pages long in this collection represents the richness and variety of American writers. A few are no longer contemporary Hemingway, Malamud, Cheever, many are well established Paley, Oates, Updike, Donald Barthelme, Ray Bradbury, Peter Taylor, Raymond Carver and many are newer presences on the fiction scene. With a tiny ``frontisstory'' by Robert Coover, a lighthearted introduction by Shapard and afterwords about the short-short-story form by 40 outstanding American writers, the definition of what lies between as ``sudden fiction'' is well attended to. The 70 pieces themselveshighly compressed, often tantalizingdisplay a multiplicity of modes and derive from a variety of traditions. The collection presents a group of writers whose miniature stories do, indeed, as the editors suggest, ``confer form on small corners of chaos.'' October 15
Library Journal
This anthology contains 70 stories, all under five pages. There are a few standards by Hemingway and Cheever, but most are contemporary pieces by such writers as Paley, Oates, and Carver and some unknowns. At its bestas exemplified by the offerings of John Upike, Arturo Vivante, Bel Kaufman, and Charles Johnsonthis ``sudden fiction'' form is devastating, at its worst, mere anecdote, but overall this is an unusual and well-conceived collection. In an afterword, 40 writers/editors discuss the genre's limitationsdoes it exist? what to call it?succinctly enough that the book may serve as a text for creative writing students as well as an interesting departure for the general reader. Recommended.Peter Bricklebank, English Dept., City Coll., CUNY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780879052652
  • Publisher: Smith, Gibbs Publisher
  • Publication date: 12/31/1983
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 312,143
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Shapard teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Hawaii, and co-edited Flash Fiction Forward.

James Thomas is the founding editor of Quarterly West and the author of Pictures, Moving, a collection of stories.

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Read an Excerpt

Introduction

All the works in this collection are from one to five pages long, and all are by American authors. A few are familiar, but the great majority have been published within the last five years.

Because they are so new, and sometimes so unlike the modern notion of story, it was by no means clear at the outset exactly what to call these works. Short-short stories? Fictions? Or something else entirely? Almost nothing has been said about them yet by literary critics, so we asked the editors who publish them, and especially the writers who write them, What are these things? And, Why are we seeing so many of them now? With our queries, we sent an early version of this book under the working title, Blasters.

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Table of Contents

A Sudden Story

Introduction

The Stories

Afterwords

Toward a New Form

A Practicum

Skippers, Snappers, and Blasters

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