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The Best American Short Stories 2003

by Walter Mosley (Editor), Katrina Kenison (Series Editor)

Other authors: Dorothy Allison (Contributor), Kevin Brockmeier (Contributor), Dan Chaon (Contributor), Rand Richards Cooper (Contributor), Edwidge Danticat (Contributor)15 more, E.L. Doctorow (Contributor), Anthony Doerr (Contributor), Louise Erdrich (Contributor), Ryan Harty (Contributor), Adam Haslett (Contributor), Nicole Krauss (Contributor), ZZ Packer (Contributor), Dean Paschal (Contributor), Marilene Phipps (Contributor), Sharon Pomerantz (Contributor), Emily Ishem Raboteau (Contributor), Jess Row (Contributor), Mona Simpson (Contributor), Susan Straight (Contributor), Mary Yukari Waters (Contributor)

Series: The Best American Short Stories (2003), Best American (2003)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
402344,332 (3.79)8
Best-selling author Walter Mosley has selected the year's top fiction from voices well-known and new. Here several authors bring their stories to vivid life for a banner audio edition.



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Long ago, I read one of the books in this series; I don't remember which, but it was one from 90s. I read all of the stories, and resolved not to pick up another in the series of collections--for me, the stories were too repetitive in tone, in theme, in character, in every way. Clearly, they were chosen by the same person, and clearly, that person's tastes had been unobjectively followed in choosing favorite stories for the year, and to such an extent that the collection quickly became boring.

All that said, this book was a wonderful and unexpected surprise.

One of my professors assigned us four stories in this book, so most of us bought and kept the collection. And, since I had it, I kept reading... Having finished all of the stories, I can honestly say that this was a beautifully varied and talented anthology. True, I wasn't in love with all of them, but I don't imagine any one reader Should adore all of the stories in a collection like this. To my mind, it should be varied with innumerable tones, themes, and types of story. And, this collection held everything I could have asked, and included many stories I'll come back to.

My favorites from the collection, and the ones I've marked to re-read, include the following: "Coins" by Mona Simpson, "Kavita Through Glass" by Emily Ishem Raboteau, "Moriya" by Dean Paschal (maybe my favorite of all of them), "Ghost Knife" by Sharon Pomerantz, "Every Tongue Shall Confess" by ZZ Packer, "Future Emergencies" by Nicole Krauss, "Devotion" by Adam Haslett, "The Shell Collector" by Anthony Doerr (maybe my second favorite...), and "Johnny Hamburger" by Rand Richards Cooper.

After my experiences, I can't necessarily recommend any of the collections in this series, but in this case, it absolutely held up to the standards and goals advertised by the series, and is absolutely worth the exploration. I honestly believe that there's something for Every reader in this collection.

Highly recommended. ( )
1 vote whitewavedarling | Feb 15, 2013 |
The latest of this annual series (published since 1915) provides an annual collection of carefully selected recently-published short fiction and nonfiction stories. This year's volume was a great read. (lj) ( )
  eduscapes | Apr 22, 2010 |
I have grown extremely wary of the books in the Best American series (other than their Nonrequired Reading books – which I cannot praise enough). So I entered with trepidation, and was pleasantly surprise. No, this is not a “rush right out and buy it and read it and love it” book, but it contains some good stories that bring satisfaction to the reader when they come to a close. In fact, while I don’t know that there were any home runs, there were also very few strike outs. There were only three or four of the 20 stories where I got done and thought, “Nope. Didn’t work. Don’t waste my time.” With no real standouts, it’s not really worth describing any of the stories. Just suffice to say that, for a change, there was more genre, more plot, and more reason to think the next Best American Short Stories collection might be worth the time. ( )
  figre | Feb 27, 2008 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mosley, WalterEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kenison, KatrinaSeries Editormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Allison, DorothyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brockmeier, KevinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chaon, DanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cooper, Rand RichardsContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Danticat, EdwidgeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Doctorow, E.L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Doerr, AnthonyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Erdrich, LouiseContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harty, RyanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Haslett, AdamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Krauss, NicoleContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Packer, ZZContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Paschal, DeanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Phipps, MarileneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pomerantz, SharonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Raboteau, Emily IshemContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Row, JessContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Simpson, MonaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Straight, SusanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Waters, Mary YukariContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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