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The Best American Short Stories 1994

The Best American Short Stories 1994

by Tobias Wolff (Editor), Katrina Kenison (Editor)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Like a fine jeweler, guest editor Wolff used these short stories as gems to create a brilliant work of art with each stone being enhanced by its proximity to another. Wolff has assembled a lively collection of fresh new voices including Christopher Tilghman, Thom Jones, Carol Anshaw, Sherman Alexie, Chris Offutt, Jonathan Wilson, Stuart Dybek and Tony Earley. ``One after another,'' Wolff states in the introduction, ``these emerging writers astonished me with their talent and range and generosity.'' Nancy Krusoe's ``Landscape and Dream'' is painful and raw, a stream-of-conscious tapestry of a young woman's coming of age. ``Fur,'' by Laura Glen Louis considers an old man's senseless infatuation with a heartless young woman. Alice Elliott Dark examines the bond between a mother and her dying son in ``In the Gloaming,'' and Robert Olen Butler explores the Vietnam war's impact on the soul in ``Salem''. But the joy of this book has as much to do with the pacing and organization of the collection as with the striking content of the stories themselves. The contributors' notes at the end of the book are of special interest, kind of an ``inside look'' at the authors' impressions of their own writings. For those who fear for the future of the written word, this volume is a testament to the vitality of American short fiction. (Nov.)
Library Journal
The 21 stories in this latest volume of the well-known series were selected from over 2500 entries published in American and Canadian magazines in 1993. In his introduction, editor Wolff (In Pharaoh's Army, LJ 10/15/94) describes the selection process, in which the authors' identities were masked. This resulted in some surprises for him and, for the reader, a nice mix of familiar names and strangers among the contributors. In John Rolfe Gardiner's precise, mysterious "The Voyage Out," which illuminates the role of childhood faith in combating fear, letters and diaries explore events leading up to the disappearance of a young man at sea. Tony Earley's "The Prophet of Jupiter" is an exuberant and free-flowing discourse on men, madness, and myths in a small North Carolina town whose citizens-and their imaginations-are irresistably drawn to the temperamental lake at its edge. Different voices, moods, and rhythms offer something for every reader. Highly recommended.-Eleanor Mitchell, Arizona State Univ., West Phoenix

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Best American Short Stories Series
Product dimensions:
5.47(w) x 8.22(h) x 1.04(d)

Meet the Author

Brief Biography

Northern California
Date of Birth:
June 19, 1945
Place of Birth:
Birmingham, Alabama
B.A., Oxford University, 1972; M.A., Stanford University, 1975

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