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By Lorrie Moore. 2015
Witness the ever-changing history and identity of America in this collection of 40 stories collected from the first 100 years…of this bestselling series.For the centennial celebration of this annual series, The Best American Short Stories, master of the form Lorrie Moore selects forty stories from the more than two thousand that were published in previous editions. Series editor Heidi Pitlor recounts behind-the-scenes anecdotes and examines, decade by decade, the trends captured over a hundred years. Together, the stories and commentary offer an extraordinary guided tour through a century of literature with what Moore calls &“all its wildnesses of character and voice.&”These forty stories represent their eras but also stand the test of time. Here is Ernest Hemingway&’s first published story and a classic by William Faulkner, who admitted in his biographical note that he began to write &“as an aid to love-making.&” Nancy Hale&’s story describes far-reaching echoes of the Holocaust; Tillie Olsen&’s story expresses the desperation of a single mother; James Baldwin depicts the bonds of brotherhood and music. Here is Raymond Carver&’s &“minimalism,&” a term he disliked, and Grace Paley&’s &“secular Yiddishkeit.&” Here are the varied styles of Donald Barthelme, Charles Baxter, and Jamaica Kincaid. From Junot Díaz to Mary Gaitskill, from ZZ Packer to Sherman Alexie, these writers and stories explore the different things it means to be American.
By Margery Jones. 2023
In this volume, Margery Hargest Jones – whose previous books for Austin Macauley have covered some of the most iconic…folk tales of the British Isles, from the Mabinogion and King Arthur to Robin Hood – now tells, or re-tells, some of her favourite stories. Three of these are given in full, while the other four are compressed into intriguing and resonant summary form. The title story, ‘The Aged Infant’, is set in the author’s native Wales and concerns a devoted mother’s troubles with a changeling child. The next, ‘The Miraculous Watermelon’, reads like one of the piquantly comic tales from The Arabian Nights. The final tale in this section, ‘Caravan Joe’, details how the eponymous character deals with the mischievous inhabitants of Squirrel Wood. The four subsequent summaries range from a simple anecdote about Larry the Lamb and other much-loved characters of ‘ToyTown’ to a mini-epic in which the Nordic hero Sigmund battles with a she-wolf.
By Stella Bagwell. 2008
Shoulders as broad and strong as TexasThat was Lucita Sanchez's first thought as Deputy Ripp McCleod rescued her from a…crash. Here was a man that a woman could count on. One who wouldn't betray his wife and leave her with a son to raise alone. But as Ripp investigated her "accident" they realized someone had targeted Lucitaand her son might also be in danger.Though Ripp vowed to protect Lucita with his life, he was wary about offering up his heart. Still, the proud yet vulnerable ranching heiress compelled him to stay close. Could this disaster be the best thing that ever happened to them?
By Nikke Hawksley. 2023
Pets as part of the family, their inclusion in everyday life and their mishaps or adventures are reflected in these…stories. Each story is accompanied by an illustration that is personally drawn by the author from a photo received from the owner and reflects their unique character and personality. Some true and real-life examples include: A cat which was inadvertently included in a parcel (but survived), a dog that was stolen from outside a shop but was restored to her owner and a rescue dog who found a wonderful home. These are all true, but there are also four fictitious and humorous examples ‘hidden’ amongst the others, which the author invites readers to discover. Adults will find these stories heartwarming and children will like the ‘happy endings’ and trying to spot which stories are ‘made up.’ A book with stories that appeal to the heart and illustrations that appeal to the eye, whatever your age and whether or not you have pets of your own.
By Kate Doyle. 2023
This &“gorgeous, electric&” collection of short stories is about the inner lives of young women during their transformative twenties, navigating…relationships, nostalgia for the past, and the uncertainty of the future (Mary-Beth Hughes, author of The Ocean House). With this sharp and witty debut collection, author Kate Doyle captures precisely that time of life when so many young women are caught in between, pre-occupied by nostalgia for past relationships—with friends, roommates, siblings—while trying to move forward into an uncertain future. In &“That Is Shocking,&” a college student relates a darkly funny story of romantic humiliation, one that skirts the parallel story of a friend she betrayed. In others, young women long for friends who have moved away, or moved on. In &“Cinnamon Baseball Coyote&” and other linked stories about siblings Helen, Evan, and Grace, their years of inside jokes and brutal tensions simmer over as the three spend a holiday season in an amusing whirl of rivalry and mutual attachment, and a generational gulf widens between them and their parents. Throughout, in stories both lyrical and haunting, young women search for ways to break free from the expectations of others and find a way to be in the world. Written with crystalline prose and sly humor, the stories in I Meant It Once build to complete a profoundly recognizable portrait of early adulthood and the ways in which seemingly incidental moments can come to define the stories we tell ourselves. For fans of Elif Batuman, Ottessa Moshfegh, Patricia Lockwood, and Melissa Bank, these stories about being young and adrift in today&’s world go down easy and pack a big punch.
By Donald Hall. 2004
A collection of stories by the former US poet laureate, “a first-rate work by an author whose control over the…tools of his genre is impeccable” (Publishers Weekly).A contemplative selection of twelve short stories from the celebrated author Donald Hall, Willow Temple focuses on the effects of divorce, adultery, and neglect. Hall’s stories are reminiscent of those of Alice Munro and William Maxwell in their mastery of form and their ability to trace the emotional fault lines connecting generations. “From Willow Temple” is the indelible story of a child’s witness of her mother’s adultery and the loss that underlies it. Three stories present David Bardo at crucial junctures of his life, beginning as a child drawn to his parents’ “cozy adult coven of drunks” and growing into a young man whose intense first affair undergirds a lifelong taste for ardor and betrayal. In this superbly perceptive collection, Hall gives memorable accounts of the passionate weight of lives.“[Hall possesses] a consistent gift for delicate description.” —The New York Times Book Review“Hall is comfortable with small stages—a tavern, a summer music camp, a farm, an artist’s studio, a junior college classroom, a cemetery, a bakery. But the quiet dramas that boil up in such places . . . are never small.” —Chicago Tribune“Understated lyricism very much in what William Carlos Williams (whom Hall often resembles) called the ‘American grain.’ Moving and memorable.” —Kirkus Reviews“A writer who attains the same high level of the game in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.” —The Boston Globe“[Willow Temple] attests to Hall’s mastery as a storyteller, the prose lyrical and elegiac as he moving unfolds each character’s frailties.” —Ploughshares
By Chinelo Okparanta. 2013
Winner of the O. Henry Award. &“A haunting and startlingly original collection of short stories about the lives of Nigerians…both at home and in America.&”—Julie Otsuka, national bestselling author Here are Nigerian women at home and transplanted to the United States, building lives out of longing and hope, faith and doubt, the struggle to stay and the mandate to leave, the burden and strength of love. Here are characters faced with dangerous decisions, children slick with oil from the river, a woman in love with another despite the penalties. Here is a world marked by electricity outages, lush landscapes, folktales, buses that break down and never start up again. Here is a portrait of Nigerians that is surprising, shocking, heartrending, loving, and across social strata, dealing in every kind of change. Here are stories filled with language to make your eyes pause and your throat catch. Happiness, Like Water introduces a true talent, a young writer with a beautiful heart and a capacious imagination. &“Astonishing. Okparanta&’s narrators render their stories with such strength and intimacy, such lucidity and composure, that in each and every case the truths of their lives detonate deep inside the reader&’s heart, with the power and force of revelation."—Paul Harding, Pulitzer Prize-winning author &“Intricate, graceful prose propels Okparanta&’s profoundly moving and illuminating book. I devoured these stories and immediately wanted more. This is an arrival.&”—NoViolet Bulawayo, award-winning author of We Need New Names &“Okparanta&’s prose is tender, beautiful and evocative. These powerful stories of contemporary Nigeria are told with compassion and a certain sense of humor. What a remarkable new talent.&”—Chika Unigwe, author of Night Dancer
By Ama Aidoo. 1970
From the author of Changes: these stories &“of post-independence Ghana in the late 1960s are written beautifully and wisely and…with great subtlety&” (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi). In this short story collection, the award-winning poet and author of Changes and Our Sister Killjoy explores postcolonial life in Ghana with her characteristic honesty, humor, and insight. A house servant wonders what independence means in a country where indoor plumbing is still reserved for bosses. A brother tracks down his runaway sister only to find she has become a prostitute. In the title story, a bitter divorce turns tragic when the couple&’s only child dies of a snake bite. In these and other stories, tradition wrestles with new urban influences as Africans try to sort out their identity in a changing culture, and &“even at her gravest, Miss Aidoo writes with a sunny charm&” (The New York Times).
By Mark Helprin. 2005
This &“dazzling collection&” of short stories by the World Fantasy Award-winning author of Winter&’s Talecontemplates the human experience across the globe…(The San Francisco Chronicle & Examiner). In these twenty stories, Mark Helprin offers a series of meditations on some of humanity&’s most enduring and universal questions. At the hour of his death, an American priest in Rome must choose between his church and his God. A young man finds love in a hot, dirty typewriter-ribbon factory in the Bronx. A Dutch child in a Canadian orphanage carries the pain of war and her love for her family in her heart. An Israeli scout risks the safety and respect of his comrades in an act of transformative charity. Through beautifully rendered memories and moments of epiphany, &“all Helprin's stories deal with essences which lead from the heart…his images are clean and sharp and bright&” (Kirkus). &“When you read these stories, a you must, you will, I believe, be uplifted and awed.&”—Cleveland Plain Dealer
By David Foster Wallace. 1989
'A visionary, a craftsman, a comedian... he's in a different time-space continuum from the rest of us. Goddam him' Zadie…Smith, Guardian'David Foster Wallace turns the short story upside down and inside out, making the adjectives ''inventive'', ''unique'' and ''original'' seem blasé' T. Coraghessan Boyle'Truly funny surreal humour' San Francisco ChronicleGirl With Curious Hair is replete with the prodigious talent of David Foster Wallace and his remarkable and unsettling re-imaginations of reality. From an eerily 'real', almost holographic evocation of Lyndon B. Johnson, to over-televised game-show hosts and late-night comedians, to the title story, where terminal punk nihilism meets Young Republicanism, Wallace renders the incredible comprehensible, the bizarre normal, the absurd hilarious, the familiar strange.
By Mikhail Zoshchenko. 2018
&“Dralyuk&’s new translation of Sentimental Tales, a collection of Zoshchenko&’s stories from the 1920s, is a delight that brings the author&’s…wit to life.&”—The EconomistMikhail Zoshchenko&’s Sentimental Tales are satirical portraits of small-town characters on the fringes of Soviet society in the first decade of Bolshevik rule. The tales are narrated by one Kolenkorov, a writer not very good at his job, who takes credit for editing the tales in a series of comic prefaces. Yet beneath Kolenkorov&’s intrusive narration and sublime blathering, the stories are genuinely moving. They tell tales of unrequited love and amorous misadventures among down-on-their-luck musicians, provincial damsels, aspiring poets, and liberal aristocrats hopelessly out of place in the new Russia, against a backdrop of overcrowded apartments, scheming, and daydreaming. Zoshchenko&’s deadpan style and sly ventriloquy mask a biting critique of Soviet life—and perhaps life in general. An original perspective on Soviet society in the 1920s and simply uproariously funny, Sentimental Tales at last shows Anglophone readers why Zoshchenko is considered among the greatest humorists of the Soviet era. &“A book that would make Gogol guffaw.&”—Kirkus Reviews &“If you find Chekhov a bit tame and want a more bite to your fiction, then you need a dose of Zoshchenko, the premier Russian satirist of the twentieth century . . . Snap up this thin volume and enjoy.&”—Russian Life &“Mikhail Zoshchenko masterfully exhibits a playful seriousness. . . . Juxtaposing joyful wit with the bleakness of Soviet Russia, Sentimental Tales is a potent antidote for Russian literature&’s dour reputation.&”—Foreword Reviews &“Superb.&”—Los Angeles Review of Books
By Asja Bakic. 2015
A debut collection of darkly humorous, feminist speculative fiction from the Balkans, “sly, uncommon stories” by “a major talent” (Jeff…VanderMeer, award-winning author of Hummingbird Salamander).Mars showcases a series of unique and twisted universes, where every character is tasked with making sense of their strange reality. One woman will be freed from purgatory once she writes the perfect book; another abides in a world devoid of physical contact. With wry prose and skewed humor, an emerging feminist writer explores twenty-first century promises of knowledge, freedom, and power.“Bakic’s stories are a dark delight—a treasury of forbidden pleasures, moments of resistance and resilience, and terrifying possibilities.” —Strange Horizons“At turns funny, surreal, and grounded in simple language but flung through twisted realities, the stories in this collection are provocative and utterly readable.” —The Brooklyn Rail“Skillfully disorienting.” —BUST“There’s an immediacy to Bakic’s offbeat worldview, sometimes strange and surreal, sometimes terrifying and upsetting, that pairs perfectly with the madness of the current political moment.” —Locus Magazine“Bosnian writer Bakic’s debut teems with the oddball narratives of George Saunders, the eerie atmosphere of Edgar Allan Poe, and the feminist intellect of Marge Piercyc. . . Told in a straightforward manner that transports speculative fiction into almost realist territory, Bakic’s collection imaginatively and strikingly examines sci-fi tropes from not only the point of view of women, but also from the voice of an effortlessly gifted writer whose future is much brighter than that of those depicted in her stories.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
By Ryan Harding. 2023
SIGILS INCISED, A COMMUNION WITH THE BLADEA trio of young people stranded on an uncharted island discover its sickening secrets.…A man contracts a degenerative disease through a webcam encounter. An office worker follows the object of his affection into a mysterious club where life, death, and anatomy have no limits. A reforming necrophiliac struggles to maintain the illusion of normalcy in a new relationship. A woman awakens with other captives in the basement of a madman using them to attract impossible prey.UNLOCK THE GATES OF FLESH, WORLDS WITHIN FLAYEDA decade after the infamous Genital Grinder, Ryan Harding returns with ten more stories, collected for the first time— including the Splatterpunk Award-winning tales "The Seacretor" and "Angelbait"— which plunder the depths of depravity and obsession, yielding offenses and transformations of the flesh never before seen or carved. His first solo work in years dissects its themes and characters alike in a sublime autopsy worthy of the hardcore horror pantheon. Even the vomitorium has its philosophy, and the keys to revelation are all serrated.EVERY JOURNEY BEGINS WITH A SINGLE SLICE... TRANSCENDENTAL MUTILATION
By Louise Kennedy. 2021
Brilliant, dark stories of women&’s lives by &“a very major talent&” (Joseph O&’Connor, Irish Times)In these visceral, stunningly crafted stories…by the author of the much-acclaimed Trespasses, women&’s lives are etched by poverty—material, emotional, sexual—but also splashed by beauty, sometimes even joy, as they search for the good in the cards they&’ve been dealt.A wife is abandoned by her new husband in a derelict housing estate, with blood on her hands. An expectant mother&’s worst fears about her husband&’s entanglement with a teenage girl are confirmed. A sister is tormented by visions of the man her brother murdered during the Troubles. A woman struggles to forgive herself after an abortion threatens to destroy her marriage. Plumbing the depths of intimacy, violence, and redemption, these stories are &“dazzling, heartbreaking . . . keen to share the lessons of a lifetime&” (Guardian).
By G. Davis. 2023
Perfect for fans of All Out and Cemetery Boys, this anthology claims a seat at the table of fantasy literature…for trans and gender nonconforming stories. Transness is as varied and colorful as magic can be. In Transmogrify!, you'll embark on fourteen different adventures alongside unforgettable characters who embody many different genders and expressions and experiences—because magic is for everyone, and that is cause for celebration. Featuring stories from: AR Capetta and Cory McCarthy g. haron davis Mason Deaver Jonathan Lenore Kastin Emery Lee Saundra Mitchell Cam Montgomery Ash Nouveau Sonora Reyes Renee Reynolds Dove Salvatierra Ayida Shonibar Francesca Tacchi Nik Traxler
By Young-Ha Kim. 2019
This collection from the acclaimed South Korean author is “filled with the kind of sublime, galvanizing stories that strike like…a lightning bolt” (Nylon). Diary of a Murderer captivates and provokes in equal measure, exploring what it means to be on the edge—between life and death, good and evil. In the titular novella, a former serial killer suffering from memory loss sets his sights on one final target: his daughter’s boyfriend, who he suspects is also a serial killer. In other stories we witness an affair between two childhood friends that questions the limits of loyalty and love; a family’s disintegration after a baby son is kidnapped and recovered years later; and a wild, erotic ride about pursuing creativity at the expense of everything else. From “one of South Korea’s best and most worldly writers” (NPR), Diary of a Murderer is a chillingly entertaining ride. “Kim is expert at finding the humanity inside the other, the comedy inside the tragedy, and the twisted within the seemingly normal.” —CrimeReads
By Eudora Welty. 1991
The debut short fiction collection from the Pulitzer Prize–winning Southern author: &“A fine writer and a distinguished book&” (The New…Yorker). When A Curtain of Green was published, it immediately established an unknown young writer from Mississippi as a uniquely original literary voice and a great American author. In her now-famous introduction to the collection, Katherine Anne Porter wrote that &“there is even in the smallest story a sense of power in reserve which makes me believe firmly that, splendid beginning that it is, it is only a beginning.&” In this collection are many of the stories that have become acknowledged masterpieces: the hilarious over-the-top family drama that drives a small-town resentful postmistress to explain &“Why I Live at the P.O.&”; the deeply satisfying thwarting of a trio of busybodies by a &“feeble-minded&” young woman in &“Lily Daw and the Three Ladies&”; the poignant pilgrimage of elderly Phoenix Jackson in &“A Worn Path&”; and the boldly experimental and jubilantly playful literary improvisation of &“Powerhouse,&” inspired by a performance Eudora Welty saw by Fats Waller. Porter added that &“[Welty] has simply an eye and an ear sharp, shrewd, and true as a tuning fork.&” Like the jazz tunes Powerhouse bangs out on the piano, Welty&’s stories remain as fresh, alive, and unpredictable today as when they first appeared. &“Miss Welty&’s stories are deceptively simple. They are concerned with ordinary people, but what happens to them and the manner of the telling are far from ordinary.&”—The New Yorker
Winner of the National Jewish Book Award: A &“gorgeous, rueful collection of eight linked stories&” capturing the collective dreams of…Israel in the 1950s (Chicago Tribune). These eight interconnected stories, set in the fictitious Kibbutz Yekhat, draw masterful profiles of idealistic men and women enduring personal hardships in the shadow of one of the greatest collective dreams of the twentieth century. A devoted father who fails to challenge his daughter&’s lover, an old friend, a man his own age; an elderly gardener who carries on his shoulders the sorrows of the world; a woman writing perversely poignant letters to her husband&’s mistress. Each of these stories is a luminous human and literary study; together they offer an eloquent portrait of an idea, and of a charged and fascinating epoch. Award-winning writer Amos Oz, who spent three decades living on a kibbutz, is at home and at his best in this &“lucid and heartbreaking&” award-winning collection (The Guardian). &“Oz lifts the veil on kibbutz existence without palaver. His pinpoint descriptions are pared to perfection . . . His people twitch with life.&” —The Scotsman &“A collection of stories . . . that boasts the sense, scope and unity of a novel . . . Breathtaking.&” —Irish Examiner &“A complex and melancholic vision of people struggling to transcend their individuality for the sake of mundanely idealist goals.&” —The Times Literary Supplement
By Eudora Welty. 1956
This collection of short stories of the Mississippi Delta by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author is &“a work of art&” (The…New York Times Book Review). Here in Morgana, Mississippi, the young dream of other places; the old can tell you every name on every stone in the cemetery on the town&’s edge; and cuckolded husbands and love-starved piano teachers share the same paths. It&’s also where one neighbor has disappeared on the horizon, slipping away into local legend. Black and white, lonely and the gregarious, sexually adventurous and repressed, vengeful and resigned, restless and settled, the vividly realized characters that make up this collection of interrelated stories, with elements drawn from ancient myth and transplanted to the American South, prove that this National Book Award–winning writer, as Katherine Anne Porter once wrote, had &“an ear sharp, shrewd, and true as a tuning fork.&” &“I doubt that a better book about &‘the South&’—one that more completely gets the feel of the particular texture of Southern life, and its special tone and pattern—has ever been written.&” —The New Yorker
By José Saramago. 1998
A dreamer petitions his king for a boat—and gets more than he bargained for—in &“this richly enigmatic short story&” by…the Nobel Prize-winning author (Kirkus).&“A man went to knock at the king's door and said, Give me a boat. The king's house had many other doors, but this was the door for petitions. But the king spent all his time sitting at the door for favors (favors being offered to the king, you understand), whenever he heard someone knocking at the door for petitions, he would pretend not to hear . . ." So begins this beautifully illustrated and deceptively simple fable. Why the petitioner required a boat, where he was bound for, and who volunteered to crew for him, the reader will soon discover. In a departure from his linguistically dense and sprawling historical novels, Jose Saramago presents a philosophic love story worthy of Swift or Voltaire.