The Best American Short Stories 1995

The Best American Short Stories 1995

by Jane Smiley
     
 

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Marking the eightieth anniversary of The Best American Short Stories, the 1995 volume triumphantly confirms that the short story is as inviting and ambitious today as it was decades ago. Contributors' names may have changed, but this collection endures as a showcase for some of our most talented writers. With a taste for the "sharp and exotic," this year's guest…  See more details below

Overview

Marking the eightieth anniversary of The Best American Short Stories, the 1995 volume triumphantly confirms that the short story is as inviting and ambitious today as it was decades ago. Contributors' names may have changed, but this collection endures as a showcase for some of our most talented writers. With a taste for the "sharp and exotic," this year's guest editor, Jane Smiley, has served up a veritable smorgasbord of literary delights, arranged "so that the flavors enhance one another as the feast progresses. Brought to the table are works by recognized masters: an outrageous journey into Africa from Thom Jones; haunting explorations of childhood's uncertain terrain from Ellen Gilchrist and Jamaica Kincaid; a miracle in the South Bronx from Don DeLillo; and a powerhouse of crafty conversations from Stephen Dobyns. Readers will savor new stories from Joy Williams, Kate Braverman, and Gish Jen and sample rich pieces from newcomers, including Jennifer C. Cornell's and Peter Ho Davies's multilayered tales of transatlantic families; Daniel Orozco's hilarious whirlwind tour of a new office; and Steven Polansky's heartrending story, "Leg," about the lengths a parent will travel for a defiant teenager.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Smiley, this year's editor, has drawn together an eclectic and powerful selection of stories that makes this an exemplary introduction to a consistently reliable annual anthology. The writers included here range from the well-established to the completely unknown, with a full half of the authors included yet to publish a book with a major press. Equally exciting as the discovery of a new writer can be the thrill of seeing an established writer break new ground, as happens in Don DeLillo's ``The Angel Esmeralda,'' which involves an old nun, an abandoned young girl and an apparent miracle in the South Bronx. Making his fourth consecutive appearance in the collection, Thom Jones uses his usual cast of wired and edgy characters, along with the extraordinary comic personality of George Babbitt, a pet baboon with a fondness for Canadian Mist whiskey in ``Way Down Deep in the Jungle.'' Among the newer writers, standouts include Avner Mandelman, whose ``Pity'' is a taut story about Israeli secret agents out to capture a Nazi living in Paris, and Edward Falco, the author of ``The Artist,'' in which a man must outsmart desperate figures from his past. This is a rich and rewarding collection that provides ample confirmation of both the diversity of American life and the vitality of the contemporary short story. (Nov.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780395711798
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
11/15/1995
Series:
Best American Short Stories Series
Pages:
366
Product dimensions:
5.59(w) x 8.33(h) x 1.03(d)

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