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Inhaltsangabe: ?In twenty-nine separate but ingenious ways, these stories seek permanent residence within a reader. They strive to become an emotional or intellectual cargo that might accompany us wherever, or however, we go. . . . If we are made by what we read, if language truly builds people into what they are, how they think, the depth with which they feel, then these stories are, to me, premium material for that construction project. You could build a civilization with them.? ?Ben Marcus, from the Introduction
Award-winning author of Notable American Women Ben Marcus brings us this engaging and comprehensive collection of short stories that explore the stylistic variety of the medium in America today.
Sea Oak by George Saunders
Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower
Do Not Disturb by A.M. Homes
The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender
The Caretaker by Anthony Doerr
The Old Dictionary by Lydia Davis
The Father?s Blessing by Mary Caponegro
The Life and Work of Alphonse Kauders by Aleksandar Hemon
People Shouldn?t Have to be the Ones to Tell You by Gary Lutz
Histories of the Undead by Kate Braverman
When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine by Jhumpa Lahiri
Down the Road by Stephen Dixon
X Number of Possibilities by Joanna Scott
Tiny, Smiling Daddy by Mary Gaitskill
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace
The Sound Gun by Matthew Derby
Short Talks by Anne Carson
Field Events by Rick Bass
Scarliotti and the Sinkhole by Padgett Powell
Rezension: The works that editor Ben Marcus has collected in The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, while diverse in their stylistic methods, are uniformly accomplished. An almost confoundingly cerebral and brilliant novelist and short story writer, Marcus is a genre unto himself, a linguistic alchemist not primarily known for spinning yarns. It's to Marcus's credit that the stories in this anthology span a wide swath of American writing, not just the outer reaches of narrative invention. In his introduction, he calibrates our literary compass, proclaiming:
Stories keep mattering by reimagining their own methods, manners, and techniques. A writer has to believe, and prove, that there are, if not new stories, then new ways of telling old ones.
The collection includes 29 of these new ways of telling stories. Herein are experiments with form by David Foster Wallace and Joe Wenderoth, flawless executions of realism from Mark Richard and Jhumpa Lahiri, and stories that waver in what could most easily be described as parallel realities. The granddaddy of this latter category, George Saunders's "Sea Oak," brilliantly fuses the inherent humor of male stripping with the undead. Elsewhere Gary Lutz proves himself to be one of our foremost artists of the sentence in "People Shouldn't Have to Be the Ones to Tell You," and Christine Schutt serves up "You Drive," an elusive piece unsettling with undertones of father-daughter incest.
The varied treasures in The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories accelerate outward into new modes of American writing as if from a radiant nucleus. While each story is daring in its own right, the most daring feat of all might have been including them all under the same cover. --Ryan Boudinot
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