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.
About the Author
LORRIE MOORE is the author of the story collections Bark, Birds of America, Like Life, and Self-Help and the novels Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? and Anagrams. HEIDI PITLOR has been the series editor for The Best American Short Stories since 2007. She is the author of the forthcoming novel The Daylight Marriage.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS 1915-1920 1917 EDNA FERBER-The Gay Old Dog1920-1930 1921 SHERWOOD ANDERSON-Brothers 1923 ERNEST HEMINGWAY-My Old Man 1925 RING LARDNER-Haircut1930-1940 1931 F. SCOTT FITZGERALD-Babylon Revisited 1933 KATHERINE ANN PORTER-The Cracked Looking-Glass 1936 WILLIAM FAULKNER-That Will Be Fine1940-1950 1942 NANCY HALE-These Are As Brothers 1948 EUDORA WELTY-The Whole World Knows 1948 JOHN CHEEVER-The Enormous Radio1950-1960 1957 TILLIE OLSEN-I Stand Here Ironing 1958 JAMES BALDWIN-Sonny's Blues 1959 PHILIP ROTH-The Conversion of the Jews1960-1970 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 River1970-1980 1975 DONALD BARTHELME-The School 1978 STANLEY ELKIN-The Conventional Wisdom1980-1990 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-Displacement1990-2000 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, 19802000-2010 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 Orders2010-2015 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