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The Best American Short Stories 2002 (The Best American Short Stories)

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3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  432 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Since its inception in 1915, the Best American series has become the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction. For each volume, a series editor reads pieces from hundreds of periodicals, then selects between fifty and a hundred outstanding works. That selection is pared down to the twenty or so very best pieces by a guest editor who is ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published October 15th 2002 by Mariner Books (first published October 1st 2002)
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(showing 1-30)
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Ann Douglas
I always enjoy the volumes in the "Best American Short Stories" anthologies. This particular volume contained a hidden gem. A short story ("Family Furnishings") by Alice Munro (my all-time favorite short-story writer) wraps up with the main character sitting in a drugstore and musings about the writer she will become.

"I did not think of the story that I would write about Alfrida -- not of that in particular -- but of the work I wanted to do, which seemed more like grabbing something out of the a
...more
Laura Ender
Jul 07, 2009 Laura Ender rated it liked it
As usual with the Best American series, I loved some of the stories and others left me unimpressed. Of course, every story had something great going for it. My favorites: Along the Frontage Road by Michael Chabon, Zilkowski's Theorem by Karl Iagnemma, In Case We're Separated by Alice Mattison, and Nachman from Los Angeles by Leonard Michaels.
Brendan
Dec 30, 2010 Brendan rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
There are some good ones here - "Nobody's Business" (Jhumpa Lahiri), "A House On the Plains" (E.L. Doctorow), "Zilkowski's Theorem" (Karl Iagnemma), "Nachman From Los Angeles" (Leonard Michaels), and "Love and Hydrogen" (Jim Shepard).

But there are also a few that just didn't impress me.
Olga
May 20, 2009 Olga rated it liked it
So far I have loved "Nobodies Business" by Jhumpa Lampiri
Prasanna
May 30, 2007 Prasanna rated it really liked it
Shelves: booksiveread
Interesting stories...particularly liked short story by Akhil Sharma.
Krystl Louwagie
I'm not exactly sure why I keep reading, or wanting to read, these "Best American" anythings-because they never seem to be designed for me, I'm never very impressed. Granted, I've only read this and multiple of the "Best American Comics" series, but I LOVE comics, and somehow I hardly ever like very many of the ones chosen. Which was the same story here. Honestly, all of these seemed to be chosen for older women who had married (unhappily) and had children. Which is not me.
None of these stood o
...more
Kirsten
Sep 18, 2011 Kirsten rated it liked it
Recommends it for: lovers of the contemporary short story.
This is one of the better Best American collections I've read. There weren't any stories I disliked, though as usual, some were far more memorable than others. Here are the gold star stories:

E.L. Doctorow's "A House on the Plains"--So creepy and well-done in its incremental reveal of disturbing information. Pitch perfect voice.

Melissa Hardy's "The Heifer"--Not as striking as some of the others, but great prose and a bit of comedy, too.

Alice Mattison's "In Case We're Separated"--A more traditiona
...more
Jordan
Jul 15, 2016 Jordan rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Stand-out stories:

"The Heifer" by Melissa Hardy—A dark, and at times darkly funny tale of arranged marriage gone wrong.

"Nobody's Business" by Jhumpa Lahiri—It's hard to pinpoint exactly what I like about this one, but it's something about the emotions become almost unnaturally heightened, almost as if it's a Henry James ghost story, when there is in fact nothing supernatural going on.

"Digging" by Beth Lordan—A somewhat dizzying tale of romance and tragedy, spanning two families and multiple gene
...more
Brandon O'Neill
Jun 02, 2008 Brandon O'Neill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an audio recording of 8 of the 20 stories contained in the Best American Short Stories 2002 book. One cassette was broken, so I really only listed to 6 stories. They are much like reading the book - some you really like, and some you don't. Most here were keepers.
I've read Michael Chabon before and liked his style, if not the story. His story Along the Frontage Road was wonderful. This dealt with a man taking his son out to select a pumpkin and some characters they meet there. The oth
...more
Alex
Mar 15, 2008 Alex rated it it was amazing
I bought The Best American Short Stories 2007, 1993, & 1995 at Pranga (a local used book store) and the others I bought during their respective years of publication. They inspire me because the stories are great, and other times I'm inspired because the stories are lousy, and they piss me off for the same reasons. As of 3-14-08 I've read 90% of 2007, 50% of '93 & '95, and 100% of the others. I added them all to goodreads on the same night with the same review because I am lazy and ...more
Patty
Because I listened to this on talking book I only read 8 of the 20 stories. If these stories are any indication of the other 12, I really want to read them. Unfortunately we no longer have the print version at my library.



I love short stories. I can fit one in while I wait; sometimes I can hear the whole story as I drive to my next destination. I know that not eveyone finds short stories appealing, but I try hard to convince folks to try them.



These were especially good. The readers were excellent
...more
Becka
Aug 06, 2008 Becka rated it liked it
Pretty good collection of short stories, you can read a story or two at a time and therefore can pick up the book at any time (even days/weeks/months later) and not forget what the heck you were reading about. Some of the stories are "intellectual" and "deep," with some that are really well written and others that I don't know if the writing style is what I have an appreciation for.Otherwise pretty good.
S.
Jul 13, 2008 S. rated it really liked it
Very nice collection. My favorite was Richard Ford's "Puppy," followed by a clamoring of runners-up like "The Rug," "Along the Frontage Road," "Nachman from Los Angeles," etc etc.
I didn't like Sue Miller's introduction at all, which begins "I was forced to write short stories by the exigencies of my life at a certain moment." Oh well, that's the worst writing in the book. Otherwise, worth the time.
Cynthia Smith-hickenbottom
Jul 27, 2014 Cynthia Smith-hickenbottom rated it liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Cynthia by: Rhonda Radford
I thought the stories were good as a whole. Some I liked better than others. I guess because it was a book about short stories, the characters and plots were not fleshed out enough for the reader. Some of the authors were better at doing it than others. The characters were from all over America and some were Americans from other countries . The stories reflected the racial and socio-economic diversity that is in America today.
Vida
Apr 11, 2009 Vida added it
When I was reading this book, I picture these stories in film. I can clearly vision the characters being played by real people. Simple stories, simple plots and this simplicity made me see myself (a part of me, a part of my life) in them. If you ever get a chance to read this book, Richard Ford’s “Puppy” and Melissa Hardy’s “Heifer” would make you better understand what I mean.
Lindsey
Apr 27, 2007 Lindsey rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: favorites
I've read the Best American Short Stories series every year since the late nineties. 2002 is by far the most memorable collection for me. I would try to stop reading between stories to let the previous one 'sink in,' but it was too hard to put this book down. Jaw-dropping, eye-opening stories that stay with you.
Laura
Aug 02, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
As expected, this collection was excellent. There is a very nice mix of stories here, covering a wide variety of subjects. As with any collection, some I liked more than others, but all were very good in their own way.
Cindy Rinaman
Mar 08, 2016 Cindy Rinaman rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star-reviews
Nice collection, but it reminds me of the reasons modern fiction is so wearying . . . too often desolate.
Vincent
I am not sure why it took my so long to read these 20 stories, but there were five or six gems I want to remember.
Ayelet Waldman
I don't know what possessed me to suddenly reread these old stories, but I love Sue Miller. And there are some terrific stories in here, notably, my husband's.
Meredith
Jun 06, 2008 Meredith rated it it was amazing
Shelves: moderngreats
wonderful - as one could expect the best short stories from one year to be, but i really liked miller's selections
Steve
Sep 22, 2008 Steve rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in good literature
I don't know if these are the best short stories of the year, as I certainly haven't read everything written in 2001. This collection is, however, excellent, and I'd recommend it.
Lauren
Dec 25, 2009 Lauren added it
12/25/09

Read:

Lahiri: Nobody's Business
Chabon: Along the Frontgate Road
Sharma: Surrounded by Sleep
Susie Shircliff
Nov 11, 2015 Susie Shircliff rated it really liked it
Fave was Jilly McCorkle's Billy Goats

Other notables:
Nodoby's Business
The Rug
Family Furnishings
and
Surrounded by Sleep
Kendall
Good collection. Read the story by E.L. Doctrow. It's very entertaining. Love and Hydrogen is interesting to. About two gay crew members on the Hindenburg.
Alyssa
Mar 19, 2013 Alyssa rated it liked it
Especially liked Jhumpha Lahiri's "Nobody's Business" and Alice Mattison's "In Case We're Separated".
Megan Schwab
Megan Schwab rated it it was amazing
Sep 12, 2014
Jamie
Jamie rated it liked it
Apr 14, 2010
Karin
Karin rated it liked it
Jul 23, 2011
Melanie Eddolls
Melanie Eddolls rated it really liked it
Apr 04, 2009
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Book of the Month May 2014 1 1 Jun 01, 2014 03:26PM  
  • The Best American Short Stories 2003
  • The Best American Short Stories 2004
  • The Best American Short Stories 2000
  • The Best American Short Stories 2005
  • The Best American Short Stories 1997
  • The Best American Short Stories 1998
  • The Best American Short Stories 1995
  • The Best American Short Stories 2001
  • The Best American Short Stories 1996
  • The Best American Short Stories 1999
  • The Best American Short Stories 2006
  • The Best American Short Stories 1994
  • The Best American Short Stories 1993
  • The Best American Short Stories 1992
  • The Best American Short Stories 1990
  • The Best American Short Stories 2009
  • The Best American Short Stories 2010 (The Best American Series)
  • The Best American Short Stories 2008
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Sue Miller (born November 29, 1943 in Chicago) is an American writer who has authored a number of best-selling novels. Her duties as a single mother left her with little time to write for many years, and as a result she did not publish her first novel until 1986, after spend
...more
More about Sue Miller...

Other Books in the Series

The Best American Short Stories (1 - 10 of 89 books)
  • The Best Short Stories of 1915, and the Yearbook of the American Short Story
  • The Best American Short Stories of 1916: And the Yearbook of the American Short Story (1917)
  • The Best Short Stories of 1917
  • The Best Short Stories of 1918 and the Yearbook of the American Short Story
  • The Best Short Stories of 1919
  • The Best Short Stories of 1920 and the Yearbook of the American Short Story
  • The Best Short Stories of 1921, and the Yearbook of the American Short Story
  • The Best Short Stories of 1922 and the Yearbook of the American Short Story
  • Best Short Stories: 1927
  • The Best Short Stories of 1931 And the Yearbook of the American Short Story 1931

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