The Best American Short Stories 2013

The Best American Short Stories 2013

Elizabeth Strout

Language: English

Pages: 384

ISBN: 0547554834

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Best American Short Stories 2013

Elizabeth Strout

Language: English

Pages: 384

ISBN: 0547554834

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


“As our vision becomes more global, our storytelling is stretching in many ways. Stories increasingly change point of view, switch location, and sometimes pack as much material as a short novel might,” writes guest editor Elizabeth Strout. “It’s the variety of voices that most indicates the increasing confluence of cultures involved in making us who we are.” The Best American Short Stories 2013 presents an impressive diversity of writers who dexterously lead us into their corners of the world.

In “Miss Lora,” Junot Díaz masterfully puts us in the mind of a teenage boy who throws aside his better sense and pursues an intimate affair with a high school teacher. Sheila Kohler tackles innocence and abuse as a child wanders away from her mother, in thrall to a stranger she believes is the “Magic Man.” Kirstin Valdez Quade’s “Nemecia” depicts the after-effects of a secret, violent family trauma. Joan Wickersham’s “The Tunnel” is a tragic love story about a mother’s declining health and her daughter’s helplessness as she struggles to balance her responsibility to her mother and her own desires. New author Callan Wink’s “Breatharians” unsettles the reader as a farm boy shoulders a grim chore in the wake of his parents’ estrangement.
“Elizabeth Strout was a wonderful reader, an author who knows well that the sound of one’s writing is just as important as and indivisible from the content,” writes series editor Heidi Pitlor. “Here are twenty compellingly told, powerfully felt stories about urgent matters with profound consequences.”

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lingered after, saying they loved yard. And, my God, the look on Lilly’s face as all left! Know she will always remember today. Only one slight negative: After party, during cleanup, Eva stomps away, picks up cat too roughly, the way she sometimes does when mad. Cat scratches her, runs over to Ferber, claws Ferber. Ferber dashes away, stumbles into table, roses bought for Lilly crash down on Ferber. We find Eva in closet. Pam: Sweetie, sweetie, what is it? Eva: I don’t like it. It’s not

that either makes or breaks her authority (she would say she is not interested in authority)—the fraction when pure exhilarated hard-wired startlement tips into that very different laughter-inviting cognitive slough, bewilderment—the professor can’t make the correct attribution. The realistic sequence of ascending trills is, for her and her alone among the two hundred and forty-three listeners in the lecture hall, “bird.” To see the lift of her brows is to know that a bird flits through the

two such sticks lashed together with a piece of old shoelace. This was a gesture August had seen performed in all the old Westerns he watched with his father. Whenever a gunslinger went down, his buddies erected a cross just like that. During the course of the past year, the sun had rotted August’s old shoelace so that the crosspiece had fallen off, leaving just the vertical stick pointing up at the sky like a crooked, accusatory finger. Skyler had been his birth dog. His father had brought the

strangely hot out here, when it would be freezing and raining in France, where they normally live, in a house in a suburb of Paris. On Christmas Day, they all ate a turkey sitting outside in her grandmother’s garden, sweating in the heat, the flame on the Christmas pudding hardly visible in the bright light. Now the child hears her mother saying something to Alice about feeling tired, but she keeps on walking, though she opens her eyes. It’s at that moment that S.P. is brought back to reality

Anyway she survived. We all survived.” Finding a place in the conversation, he asked were there any dwarfs in the neighborhood? “Not that I’ve noticed.” “In a cart?” “Oh. Were they sitting? It must have been the little Mennonite boys. They drive their cart to church and they sing all the way. The girls have to go in the buggy, but they let the boys ride in the cart.” “They never looked at me.” “They wouldn’t. I used to say to Mother that we lived on the right road because we were just like

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