The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories
The thirty-three stories in this volume prove that American short fiction maybe be our most distinctive national art form. As selected and introduced by Tobias Wolff, they also make up an alternate map of the United States that represents not just geography but narrative traditions, cultural heritage, and divergent approaches.
Contributors and stories include: Mary Gaitskill, "A Romantic Weekend"; Thom Jones, "A White Horse"; Andre Dubus, "The Fat Girl"; Tim O'Brien, "The Things They Carried"; Chris Offutt, "Aunt Granny Lith"; Raymond Carver, "Cathedral"; Joyce Carol Oates, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"; Robert Stone, "Helping"; Mona Simpson, "Lawns"; Ann Beattie, "A Vintage Thunderbird"; Jamaica Kincaid, "Girl"; Stuart Dybek, "Chopin in Water"; Barry Hannah, "Testimony of Pilot"; John Edgar Wideman, "Daddy Garbage"; Ron Hansen, "Wickedness"; Denis Johnson, "Emergency"; Edward P. Jones, "The First Day"; John L'Heureux, "Departures"; Ralph Lombreglia, "Men Under Water"; Leonard Michaels, "Murderers"; Robert Olmstead, "Cody's Story"; Jayne Anne Phillips, "Home"; Susan Power, "Moonwalk"; Amy Tan, "Rules of the Game"; Stephanie Vaughn, "Dog Heaven"; Joy Williams, "Train"; Dorothy Allison, "River of Names"; Richard Bausch, "All The Way in Flagstaff, Arizona"; Carol Bly, "Talk of Heroes"; Scott Bradfield, "The Darling"; Kate Braverman, "Tall Tales from the Mekong Delta"; Richard Ford, "Rock Springs"; and Allan Gurganus, "Minor Heroism."
Mr. Wolff sure can pick 'em!
By M. Wegley "lit prof" - March 8, 2001
Tobias Wollf, himself an excellent practitioner of the short story, does not include a work of his own in this wonderful collection (save a very thoughtful introduction). This is one of the most well edited collections of contemporary short stories on the market. It may be a few years old by now, but most of the "must read" writers, as well as surprisingly good lesser-knowns are included. Raymond Carver and Andre Dubus, sadly no longer contemporary in the strict sense, live on within these pages alongside excellent new voices. Two stories that really stand out for me are John L'Heureux's "Departures," a very deep and moving narrative, and Ralph Lombreglia's "Men Under Water," a beautiful alchemy of the dreams and realities of contemporary life. The selections written by Jamaica Kincaid, Joyce Carol Oates, Tim O'Brien, and Denis Johnson are so well picked, they seem to capture a bit of the authors themselves, as well as a portion of their writing... read more
Serious literature with grit
By "litmag01" - March 17, 2001
"The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories" speaks with the intensity of liquor and fists. It lets loose on the gut of America.Tobias Wolff, one of America's hardest hitting fiction writers, ("The Night in Question: Stories" and "In the Garden of North American Martyrs") has hammered together one of the best collections of modern fiction--far better than any individual "Best of..." collection.If you are drawn, like me, to the intensity and disillusionment present in American literature at the turn of the century (i.e. Edith Wharton, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald) this book may be what you have been looking for in contemporary writers. Including such staples of the contemporary cannon as Raymond Carver, Andre Dubuse, Amy Tan, Joyce Carol Oates this book packs in the best of modern short fiction and restores the genre to its former revered status.
One of the Best Story Anthologies Currently Available.
By Chris Parker - May 14, 2000
If you're tired of the predictable mediocrity of most of the short story collections flooding today's market I encourage you to pick this book up, it may open your eyes up to some of the more overlooked story writers of today. Tobias Wolff does a great job combining some of the finest mainstream stories of the later part of the 20th century with some less predictable, more intriguing selections. The result a consistently excellent collection.Among the many highlights in the collection, among them Kate Braverman's hypnotic "Tall Tales From the Mekong Delta", Raymond Carver's "Cathedral" in which Carver actually takes a step toward justifying the hype surrounding often over rated work, Mary Gaitskill's "A Romantic Weekend" a take on sadomasochism that is at once cold and humorous, Barry Hannah's "Testimony of Pilot", Thom Jones' "A White Horse", Robert Stone's "Helping", and John Edgar Wideman's "Daddy... read more
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