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The Best American Short Stories 2016

by Junot Díaz (Editor), Heidi Pitlor (Editor)

Other authors: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Contributor), Mohammed Naseehu Ali (Contributor), Tahmima Anam (Contributor), Andrea Barrett (Contributor), Sarah Shun-lien Bynum (Contributor)15 more, Ted Chiang (Contributor), Louise Erdrich (Contributor), Yalitza Ferreras (Contributor), Lauren Groff (Contributor), Meron Hadero (Contributor), Smith Henderson (Contributor), Lisa Ko (Contributor), Ben Marcus (Contributor), Caille Millner (Contributor), Daniel J. O'Malley (Contributor), Karen Russell (Contributor), Yuko Sakata (Contributor), Sharon Solwitz (Contributor), Héctor Tobar (Contributor), John Edgar Wideman (Contributor)

Series: The Best American Short Stories (2016), Best American (2016)

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Contents: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie "Apollo" / Mohammed Naseehu Ali "Ravalushan" / Tahmima Anam "Garments" / Andrea Barrett "Wonders of the Shore" / Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum "The Bears" / Ted Chiang "The Great Silence" / Louise Erdrich "The Flower" / Yalitza Ferreras "The Letician Age" / Lauren Groff "For the God of Love, for the Love of God" / Smith Henderson "Treasure State" / Meron Hadero "The Suitcase" / Lisa Ko "Pat + Sam" / Ben Marcus "Cold Little Bird" / Caille Millner "The Politics of the Quotidian" / Daniel J. O'Malley "Bridge" / Karen Russell "The Prospectors" / Yuko Sakata "On This Side" / Sharon Solwitz "Gifted" / Héctor Tobar "Secret Stream" / John Edgar Wideman "Williamsburg Bridge"
  ThosD | Jul 15, 2017 |
Every Christmas my wife gives me the Best American Short Stories of the year. I just finished 2016. I like to read them one or a few at a time separated by long intervals. This year’s did not disappoint. There are always a few stories that I do not like, but I find most are gems – wonderfully written, and marvelously varied. If a novel is a bottle of craft beer, these are like a fine scotch, intense and to be savored. Sometimes, I finish one and immediately re-read it (and, sometimes, I do have a second glass of scotch). For me, added dividends are the authors’ notes in which they explain a bit about how the stories came about. As usual this year’s authors vary from the long distinguished, John Edgar Wideman, through those familiar from previous volumes or recent novels, Louise Erdrich, Karen Russell, and Lauren Groft, to Caille Millner, whose story was the first she has published.

I hesitate to choose any favorites and it is nearly impossible to describe them in a few phrases (though this year’s guest editor Junot Díaz does). Undaunted I will try a few. Karen Russell’s fantastical story, The "Prospectors", tells of the bond between two women on the make in Oregon in the 1930’s. Taking a chairlift to the opening of a luxurious lodge, they find themselves in another lodge inhabited by the spirits of 26 men killed in its accidental destruction. “The Politics of the Quotidian” by Caille Millner is a send-up of academia through the eyes of a postdoctoral student who melts down after an encounter with an abrasive student. In “Williamsburg Bridge” John Edgar Wideman’s narrator stands on the bridge about to jump. His thoughts somehow manage to touch on Sonny Rollins, the Korean War, an encounter in a massage parlor in Paris and to synthesize the black man in America. A beautiful woman who has led a charmed life until she has an affair while her son is ill with cancer is the subject of Sharon Solwitz’s “Gifted”. I could try to go on, but you had best read a few or all of them yourself. ( )
  jwrudn | Apr 30, 2017 |
Heard part of "The Suitcase" by Meron Hadero on NPR but didn't get to hear the ending, so I finished that (it was excellent) and read a few others:

-"Apollo" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
-"Garments" by Tahmima Anam
-"For the God of Love, for the Love of God" by Lauren Groff
-"Cold Little Bird" by Ben Marcus
-"Gifted" by Sharon Solwitz

They were all marvelously written, bringing the reader immediately into the characters' worlds, but all rather bleak; "Cold Little Bird" was especially chilling/haunting. ( )
  JennyArch | Feb 21, 2017 |
This yearly collection of short stories never fails to impress. Junot Diaz’ selection is both varied and revelatory, but the quality is there throughout. I especially like Andrea Barrett’s “Wonders of the Shore,” and Louise Erdich’s “The Flower”, and Ben Marcus’ chilling “Cold Little Bird”, and Karen Russell’s “The Prospectors”. I could go on. There were many writers here that were new to me, though it is clear from the notes at the end that none of them are new on the scene or previously unheralded. And there were a few whose paths I’ve crossed before. Enjoy it in itself, or treat it as a sampler for authors whose other work you might want to read. Well worth a read. ( )
  RandyMetcalfe | Oct 20, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Díaz, JunotEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pitlor, HeidiEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Adichie, Chimamanda NgoziContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ali, Mohammed NaseehuContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anam, TahmimaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barrett, AndreaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bynum, Sarah Shun-lienContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chiang, TedContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Erdrich, LouiseContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ferreras, YalitzaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Groff, LaurenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hadero, MeronContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Henderson, SmithContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ko, LisaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Marcus, BenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Millner, CailleContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
O'Malley, Daniel J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Russell, KarenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sakata, YukoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Solwitz, SharonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tobar, HéctorContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wideman, John EdgarContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0544582896, Paperback)

“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. 
 

(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 24 Sep 2016 20:20:45 -0400)

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