The Best American Series First, Best, and Best-Selling
The Best American series has been the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction since 1915. Each volume's series editor selects notable works from hundreds of periodicals. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the very 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.
The Best American Short Stories 2005 includes
Dennis Lehane Tom Perrotta Alice Munro Edward P. Jones Joy Williams Joyce Carol Oates Thomas McGuane Kelly Link Charles D'Ambrosio Cory Doctorow George Saunders and others
Michael Chabon, guest editor, is the best-selling author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Wonder Boys, A Model World, and, most recently, The Final Solution. His novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000.
Chabon reaches out toward genre fiction after all, he writes, a story's delights "all boil down to entertainment, and its suave henchman, pleasure" but he doesn't go so far as to alienate fans of more traditional stories in the lively latest volume of this venerable series. He begins with a Little League baseball story by Tom Perotta ("The Smile on Happy Chang's Face"), arguably a character study but a rousing sports piece too, and Dennis Lehane's "Until Gwen" follows "Your father picks you up from prison in a stolen Dodge Neon, with an 8-ball of coke in the glove compartment and a hooker named Mandy in the back seat" to stir things up a little. Kelly Link contributes an elegant haunted house tale, and Cory Doctorow serves up a "piss-take" on Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game" with his story of online gaming, "Anda's Game." Stories by Edward P. Jones, Tim Pratt, Charles D'Ambrosio and Tom Bissell skirt genre, too, though Chabon doesn't forget such Best American stalwarts as Alice Munro, Joy Williams, Joyce Carol Oates and newer writers in the more traditional vein. In the big pile of Best Ams, this one holds its own, even if yawn six of the stories come from the august New Yorker. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.