100 years of The best American short stories

Book - 2015

Collects forty short stories published between 1915 and 2015, from writers that include Ernest Hemingway, John Updike, and Alice Munro that exemplify their era and stand the test of time --

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2nd Floor 813.08/One Checked In
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2015.
Item Description
Published for the centennial celebration of the annual, Best American short stories.
Physical Description
xxi, 723 pages ; 24 cm
  • 1915-1920. The gay old dog / Edna Ferber
  • 1920-1930. Brothers / Sherwood Anderson; My old man / Ernest Hemingway; Haircut / Ring Lardner
  • 1930-1940. Babylon revisited / F. Scott Fitzgerald; The cracked looking-glass / Katherine Anne Porter; That will be fine / William Faulkner
  • 1940-1950. Those are as brothers / Nancy Hale; The whole world knows / Eudora Welty; The enormous radio / John Cheever
  • 1950-1960. I stand here ironing / Tillie Olsen; Sonny's blues / James Baldwin; The conversion of the Jews / Philip Roth
  • 1960-1970. Everything that rises must converge / Flannery O'Connor; Pigeon feathers / John Updike; Will you please be quiet, please? / Raymond Carver; By the river / Joyce Carol Oates
  • 1970-1980. The school / Donald Barthelme; The conventional wisdom / Stanley Elkin
  • 1980-1990. Friends / Grace Paley; Harmony of the world / Charles Baxter; Lawns / Mona Simpson; Communist / Richard Ford; Helping / Robert Stone; Displacement / David Wong Louie
  • 1990-2000. Friend of my youth / Alice Munro; The girl on the plane / Mary Gaitskill; Xuela / Jamaica Kincaid; If you sing like that for me / Akhil Sharma; Fiesta, 1980 / Junot Díaz
  • 2000-2010. The third and final continent / Jhumpa Lahiri; Brownies / ZZ Packer; What you pawn I will redeem / Sherman Alexie; Old boys, old girls / Edward P. Jones; Refresh, refresh / Benjamin Percy; Awaiting orders / Tobias Wolff
  • 2010-2015. What we talk about when we talk about Anne Frank / Nathan Englander; Diem perdidi / Julie Otsuka; The semplica-girl diaries / George Saunders; At the round Earth's imagined corners / Lauren Groff.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

An anthology of an anthology, packed with some of the best short fiction ever committed to print. Aficionados of the "Getting Things Done" system of time management will appreciate that Best American Short Stories founding editor Edward J. O'Brien was "almost pathologically organized," useful for dealing with the flood of stories he received on conceiving the annual prize volume. That was back when short stories, as the editors note, "were the preferred entertainment in the United States," not the currency of MFA workshops and suburban book clubs. Tastes change: there's a world of difference between Ring Lardner and Jamaica Kincaid, and if the two might have enjoyed a conversation, the editors might have commented a touch more about how the short story genre has evolved in the century since O'Brien got to work. For the moment, it's worth marveling at how Edna Ferber's "The Gay Old Dog" reflects a world gone by in its very title, an age of "loop-hounds," kerchiefs, and waistcoats; one wonders whether George Saunders' postmodernly busy "The Semplica-Girl Diaries" will seem similarly fusty a century from now, whether Robert Stone's evocations of the Vietnam War will have any meaning then. There are classic and even some canonical pieces in the book and plenty of big names from Hemingway and Cheever to Munro and Oates, and if there are no surprises hereafter all, they're known prizewinners, with all the baggage good and ill that prizes carryan aspiring writer could do worse than have this as a handbook. Some standouts: Sherman Alexie's sharply observed portrait of Skid Row ("Rose of Sharon, Junior, and I carried our $20 bill and our five dollars in loose change over to the 7-Eleven and bought three bottles of imagination"); Akhil Sharma's portrait of Indian immigrant life, "If You Sing Like That for Me"; and Moore's highly entertaining if refractive introduction. Though certainly not the last word on American short fiction, a collection of uncommonly high value. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

TABLE OF CONTENTS   1915-1920 1917 EDNA FERBER-The Gay Old Dog 1920-1930 1921 SHERWOOD ANDERSON-Brothers 1923 ERNEST HEMINGWAY-My Old Man 1925 RING LARDNER-Haircut 1930-1940 1931 F. SCOTT FITZGERALD-Babylon Revisited 1933 KATHERINE ANN PORTER-The Cracked Looking-Glass 1936 WILLIAM FAULKNER-That Will Be Fine 1940-1950 1942 NANCY HALE-These Are As Brothers 1948 EUDORA WELTY-The Whole World Knows 1948 JOHN CHEEVER-The Enormous Radio 1950-1960 1957 TILLIE OLSEN-I Stand Here Ironing 1958 JAMES BALDWIN-Sonny's Blues 1959 PHILIP ROTH-The Conversion of the Jews 1960-1970 1962 FLANNERY O'CONNOR-Everything That Rises Must Converge 1962 JOHN UPDIKE-Pigeon Feathers 1967 RAYMOND CARVER-Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? 1969 JOYCE CAROL OATES-By the River 1970-1980 1975 DONALD BARTHELME-The School 1978 STANLEY ELKIN-The Conventional Wisdom 1980-1990 1980 GRACE PALEY-Friends 1982 CHARLES BAXTER-Harmony of the World 1986 MONA SIMPSON-Lawns 1986 RICHARD FORD-Communist 1988 ROBERT STONE-Helping 1989 DAVID WONG LOUIE-Displacement 1990-2000 1991 ALICE MUNRO-Friend of My Youth   1993 MARY GAITSKILL-The Girl on the Plane 1995 JAMAICA KINCAID-Xuela 1996 AKHIL SHARMA-If You Sing Like That For Me 1997 JUNOT DIAZ-Fiesta, 1980 2000-2010 2000 JHUMPA LAHIRI-The Third and Final Continent 2000 ZZ PACKER-Brownies 2004 EDWARD P. JONES-Old Boys, Old Girls 2005 SHERMAN ALEXIE-What You Pawn I Will Redeem 2006 BENJAMIN PERCY-Refresh, Refresh 2006 TOBIAS WOLFF-Awaiting Orders 2010-2015 2012 NATHAN ENGLANDER-What  We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank 2012 JULIE OTSUKA- Diem Perdidi 2013 GEORGE SAUNDERS-The Semplica-Girl Diaries 2014 LAUREN GROFF-At the Round Earth's Imagined Corners Excerpted from 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories by Heidi Pitlor, Lorrie Moore All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.