Henderson culls the year's best short stories, poetry and essays from lit mags and small presses and proves once again that the small venues are great sources for discovering new writers and staying current with the lions. Nam Le's hard-hitting "Cartagena" starts off the collection with a stark portrayal of a Colombian hit man in over his head. In Stephanie Powell Watts's "Unassigned Territory," a reluctant young black Jehovah's Witness finds herself searching for meaningful human connection while handing out Watchtowers in backwoods North Carolina. In Rick Bass's subtle and brilliant "Goats," two aspiring cattle barons roam the outskirts of Houston, buying scrawny calves while keeping tabs on an aging rancher suffering from dementia. Herb Golbert remembers Saul Bellow in "A Genius for Grief," while the posthumously published poem of Liam Rector, who committed suicide earlier this year, evokes a Pulitzer winner contemplating his failure to love ("That's where I truly fucked up./ I couldn't"). Steven Millhauser's "The Dome" offers a creepy if all-too-plausible view of the future in which communities seal themselves off beneath plastic domes. Hipsters and boomers alike will find something to appreciate in this powerhouse. (Dec.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
The Pushcart Prize XXXII: Best of the Small Presses 2008by Bill Henderson
The Pushcart Prize XXXII continues as a testament to the flourishing of American literature in our small presses. Edited with the assistance of more than two hundred distinguished contributing editorsincluding Joyce Carol Oates, Rosellen Brown, Rick Bass, Carolyn/i>/b>/i>
"The Pushcart Prize series is the best of its kind."Kirkus Reviews
The Pushcart Prize XXXII continues as a testament to the flourishing of American literature in our small presses. Edited with the assistance of more than two hundred distinguished contributing editorsincluding Joyce Carol Oates, Rosellen Brown, Rick Bass, Carolyn Kizer, Edward Hoagsland, Rita Dove, and Naomi Shihab Nyethis volume celebrates over sixty stories, essays, and poems from dozens of little magazines and small presses.
It seems that the more commercial publishers consolidate the more small presses capture and encourage what is lasting and important in our literary culture. Each year The Pushcart Prize has increased from strength to strength as the small presses expand in influence and energy.
Meet the Author
Bill Henderson, founder and editor of the Pushcart Prize, received the 2006 National Book Critics Circle's Lifetime Achievement Award and the Poets & Writers/Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award.
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