This gathering of twenty-four short stories shows the richness and vitality of the form. Each engaging, accessible story represents one of the many modes of storytelling now in our literature. Here are short stories in the guise of memoir or confession; written as a letter, a fable, a report; or accomplishing what we usually expect of a novel, an essay, a character study, a poem. A uniquely contemporary collection, yet with an eye on tradition, it includes long-revered as well as more recently heralded masters. Among them are Margaret Atwood, Ann Beattie, Robert Olen Butler, Truman Capote, Raymond Carver, Junot Diaz, Louise Erdrich, Ian Frazier, Randall Kenan, Jhumpa Lahiri, Rick Moody, Lorrie Moore, Alice Munro, Tim O'Brien, ZZ Packer, Alice Walker, Eudora Welty, Joy Williams, and Richard Yates. An introduction provides historical background and elaborates on the idea that although there may be a limited number of stories to tell, there are countless ways to tell them. Illuminating notes on the author's life and work precede each story.
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