The Best American Short Stories of the Century by John Updike

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Synopsis

Since the series' inception in 1915, the annual volumes of The Best American Short Stories have launched literary careers, showcased the most compelling stories of each year, and confirmed for all time the significance of the short story in our national literature. Now THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES OF THE CENTURY brings together the best of the best - fifty-five extraordinary stories that represent a century's worth of unsurpassed accomplishments in this quintessentially American literary genre. Here are the stories that have endured the test of time: masterworks by such writers as Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Willa Cather, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Saroyan, Flannery O'Connor, John Cheever, Eudora Welty, Philip Roth, Joyce Carol Oates, Raymond Carver, Cynthia Ozick, and scores of others. These are the writers who have shaped and defined the landscape of the American short story, who have unflinchingly explored all aspects of the human condition, and whose works will continue to speak to us as we enter the next century. Their artistry is represented splendidly in these pages. THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES series has also always been known for making literary discoveries, and discovery proved to be an essential part of selecting the stories for this volume too. Collections from years past yielded a rich harvest of surprises, stories that may have been forgotten but still retain their relevance and luster. The result is a volume that not only gathers some of the most significant stories of our century between two covers but resurrects a handful of lost literary gems as well. Of all the great writers whose work has appeared in the series, only John Updike's contributions have spanned five consecutive decades, from his first appearance, in 1959, to his most recent, in 1998. Updike worked with coeditor Katrina Kenison to choose stories from each decade that meet his own high standards of literary quality.
 

About John Updike

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John Updike's novels have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the American Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Rosenthal Award, and the Howells Medal. He died of lung cancer in 2009, at age 75. Katrina Kenison has been the series editor of The Best American Short Stories since 1990. She currently resides in Massachusetts.
 
Published April 5, 1999 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 776 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Best American Short Stories of the Century

Publishers Weekly

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The task had to be daunting, selecting the 55 stories that grace this volume. The title alone is daunting: the best? But the riches contained--including a foreword by Kenison and a deft introduction f

Mar 29 1999 | Read Full Review of The Best American Short Stori...

Publishers Weekly

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Updike narrowed down his collection of short stories from 55 to 21 to present this rich, warm voicing of some of the best writing of the 20th century.

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Publishers Weekly

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Indeed, the volume includes such signature stories as Joyce Carol Oates's ""Where Are You Going, where Have You Been?,"" Cynthia Ozick's ""The Shawl,"" Raymond Carver's ""Where I'm Calling From"" and Tim O'Brien's ""The Things They Carried."" But some stories here by the well-known are not necess...

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Chicago Tribune

The likes of George Saunders, left, Louise Erdrich and Jamaica Kincaid are included in "100 Years of the Best American Short Stories" edited by Lorrie Moore and Heidi Pitlor.

Oct 15 2015 | Read Full Review of The Best American Short Stori...

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