“The literary ‘Oscars’ features twenty outstanding examples of the best of the best in American short stories.” —Shelf Awareness for Readers The Best American Short Stories 2016 will be selected by Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz. He brings "one of the most distinctive and magnetic voices in contemporary fiction: limber, streetwise, caffeinated and wonderfully eclectic" (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times) to the collection.
In his introduction to this one hundredth volume of the beloved Best American Short Stories, guest editor T. C. Boyle writes, “The Model T gave way to the Model A and to the Ferrari and the Prius . . . modernism to postmodernism and post-postmodernism. We advance. We progress. We move on. But we are part of a tradition.” Boyle’s choices of stories reflect a vibrant range of characters, from a numb wife who feels alive only in the presence of violence to a new widower coming to terms with his sudden freedom, from a missing child to a champion speedboat racer. These stories will grab hold and surprise, which according to Boyle is “what the best fiction offers, and there was no shortage of such in this year’s selections.” Mulling over the question of character likability, series editor Heidi Pitlor asks, “Did I like these characters? I very much liked reading their stories, as did T. C. Boyle.” Here are characters who “are living, breathing people who screw up terribly and want and need and think uneasy thoughts.” T. C. BOYLE, guest editor, has published fifteen novels and ten collections of short stories. He won the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1988 for his novel World’s End and the Prix Médicis étranger for The Tortilla Curtain in 1995, as well as the 2014 Henry David Thoreau Prize for excellence in nature writing. His most recent book is the novel The Harder They Come. HEIDI PITLOR, series editor, is a former senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She is the author of the novels The Birthdays and The Daylight Marriage.
Best-selling author Meg Wolitzer guest edits the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction. “If you know exactly what you are going to get from the experience of reading a story, you probably wouldn’t go looking for it; you need, in order to be an open reader of fiction, to be willing. To cast a vote for what you love and then wait for the outcome,” writes Meg Wolitzer in her introduction. The Best American Short Stories 2017 casts a vote for and celebrates all that is our country. Here you’ll find a man with a boyfriend and a girlfriend, naval officers trapped on a submarine, a contestant on America’s Funniest Home Videos, and a gay man desperate to be a father—unforgettable characters waiting for an outcome, burning with stories to tell. The Best American Short Stories 2017 includes T. C. BOYLE • JAI CHAKRABARTI • EMMA CLINE • DANIELLE EVANS • LAUREN GROFF • ERIC PUCHNER • JIM SHEPARD • CURTIS SITTENFELD • JESS WALTER and others
“As our vision becomes more global, our storytelling is stretching in many ways. Stories increasingly change point of view, switch location, and sometimes pack as much material as a short novel might,” writes guest editor Elizabeth Strout. “It’s the variety of voices that most indicates the increasing confluence of cultures involved in making us who we are.” The Best American Short Stories 2013 presents an impressive diversity of writers who dexterously lead us into their corners of the world. In “Miss Lora,” Junot Díaz masterfully puts us in the mind of a teenage boy who throws aside his better sense and pursues an intimate affair with a high school teacher. Sheila Kohler tackles innocence and abuse as a child wanders away from her mother, in thrall to a stranger she believes is the “Magic Man.” Kirstin Valdez Quade’s “Nemecia” depicts the after-effects of a secret, violent family trauma. Joan Wickersham’s “The Tunnel” is a tragic love story about a mother’s declining health and her daughter’s helplessness as she struggles to balance her responsibility to her mother and her own desires. New author Callan Wink’s “Breatharians” unsettles the reader as a farm boy shoulders a grim chore in the wake of his parents’ estrangement. “Elizabeth Strout was a wonderful reader, an author who knows well that the sound of one’s writing is just as important as and indivisible from the content,” writes series editor Heidi Pitlor. “Here are twenty compellingly told, powerfully felt stories about urgent matters with profound consequences.”
The Best American Short Stories is the longest running and best-selling series of short fiction in the country. For the centennial celebration of this beloved annual series, 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. Moore writes that the process of assembling these stories allowed her to look “thrillingly not just at literary history but at actual history — the cries and chatterings, silences and descriptions of a nation in flux.” 100 Years of The Best American Short Stories is an invaluable testament, a retrospective of our country’s ever-changing but continually compelling literary artistry. LORRIE MOORE, after many years as a professor of creative writing at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is now the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. Moore has received honors for her work, among them the Irish Times International Fiction Prize and a Lannan Foundation fellowship, as well as the PEN/Malamud Award and the Rea Award for her achievement in the short story. Her most recent novel, A Gate at the Stairs, was short-listed for the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction and for the PEN/Faulkner Award, and her most recent story collection, Bark, was short-listed for the Story Prize and the Frank O’Connor Award. HEIDI PITLOR is a former senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and has been the series editor of The Best American Short Stories since 2007. She is the author of the novels The Birthdays and The Daylight Marriage.
The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country’s finest short fiction and nonfiction. This special edition contains selections from the following 2017 editions: The Best American Short Stories edited by Meg Wolitzer The Best American Essays edited by Leslie Jamison The Best American Mystery Stories edited by John Sandford The Best American Nonrequired Reading edited by Sarah Vowell The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy edited by Charles Yu The Best American Travel Writing edited by Lauren Collins The Best American Science and Nature Writing edited by Hope Jahren The Best American Sports Writing edited by Howard Bryant Each volume’s series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. The special guest editor then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected – and most popular – of its kind.
Best-selling, award-winning, pop culture powerhouse Roxane Gay guest edits this year's Best American Short Stories, the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction. Best-selling, award-winning, pop culture powerhouse Roxane Gay brings her "signature dry wit and piercing psychological depth" (Harper's Bazaar) to selecting The Best American Short Stories 2018.