The Best American Short Stories 1993 by Louise Erdrich, Ed. and Katrina Kenison, Series Ed.


General Fiction

The Best American Short Stories 1993Houghton Mifflin 1993WorldCatThis is an annual collection of the best short stories to be published in Canandian or United States published magazines in 1992. The list is culled to twenty each year.

This edition has a wide variety of types of stories. There are stories of lifestyles, or incidents in life, or the dreams of life, or the ending of life. Some stories are incomprehensible at first, then start washing over you. Others have a definite beginning, middle, and end that evoke immediate responses. None of these is similar to another. There are happy stories, sad stories, and comtemplative.

The one that struck the deepest chord in me was “Poltergiests” by Jane Shapiro. It’s the reflections of a single mother raising her teen age son and daughter. The kids are old enough they are out at parties and she worries. Here’s a small excerpt of conversation:

“I don’t want you to drink and drive!”
“We never do,” they said. “Are you crazy?”
“Do you smoke joints?”
“Mom,” they said kindly, holding my gaze.
“I don’t want you to drink or smoke at all.”
“We know that, Mom. We know you don’t.”

Did you ever have a similar conversation with your parents? Or with your kids? She obviously has lived with teenagers.

The authors included in this collection are Wendell Berry, Stephen Dixon, Tony Earley, Kim Edwards, Harlan Ellison, Alice Fulton, Mary Gaitskill, Mary Gordon, Diane Johnson, Thom Jones, Andrea Lee, Lorrie Moore, Alice Munro, Antonya Nelson, Janet Peery, Susan Power, Joanna Scott, Jane Shapiro, John Updike, and Larry Woiwode.

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