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The O. Henry Prize Stories 2006
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The O. Henry Prize Stories 2006

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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  141 ratings  ·  22 reviews
The 20 short stories in this collection were chosen by series editor Furman in consultation with jurors Kevin Brockmeier, Francine Prose, and Colm Toibin. The stories range in style from the gritty noir of David Means' "Sault Ste. Marie" to the mesmerizing mythmaking of Louise Erdrich's "The Plague of Doves," while the settings include a village perched on top of an enormo...more
Paperback, 361 pages
Published May 9th 2006 by Anchor Books (first published May 2006)
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Qi
Good short stories are made for intense reading. It requires the reader to be fully alive to its highly condensed contents. In this particularly collection, the central themes (so far -- at page 97) seems to be (1) the unexpected events in life that changes human life completely, (2) the 'otherness' of how people experience life.

(1) Edward P. Jones -- Old Boys, old girls. How do inmates experience a long prison life? Certainly not the way we outsiders would. Brutality and tenderness are transfor...more
Cassie
The Good, The Bad, The Meh

Yes Please: You Go When You Can No Longer Stay--Jackie Kay; The Pelvis Series--Neela Vaswani; The Dressmaker's Child--William Trevor; Unction--Karen Brown; Passion--Alice Munro; Wolves--Susan Fromberg Schaeffer (if I ignore the author statement, which I totally disagree with); Famine--Xu Xi

No Thank You: Old Boys, Old Girls; The Broad Estates of Death; Sault Ste. Marie; '80s Lilies; The Center of the World; The Plague of Doves; Letters in the Snow...; Window

Maybe If I'm...more
The Awdude
This is the third O. Henry Prize collection I've read, and each one of them has been just as strong. The editor is a former professor of mine; though terrible at teaching, in my opinion, she is a brilliant reader nonetheless. You won't find much experimentation here, just good storytelling, and it also includes author comments and judge's comments, which I thought was a nice bonus. The 2006 edition includes stories by Louise Erdrich, William Trevor, Alice Munroe, Edward P. Jones, and Paula Fox,...more
Kimbo
I don't remember this particular volume but I love this short stories anthology series. It's the only one I trust. Tried a few Sci-Fi/Fantasy and "Best" series with the same concept and I hated them; tacky storylines, crappy wanna-be-modern writing. I like the writing style of most of the stories that are selected for the O'Henry Awards. Lots of haunting and memorable stories, like Alexi Zentner's short story about the logger family, half of which were frozen in the river that helps make their l...more
Anne B
The best of this volume is "A Disquisition on Tears", which haunts me still. The quiet horror of that story doesn't hit until the very end. Unforgettable.

A great feature of these collections is the "Writing/ The Authors On Their Work" section at the end. Here's where I turned to find out what inspired Stephanie Reents to write "Disquisition".

Harrowing as the story is, its origins come from an even darker place. A must read, if you haven't.

Other standouts: "'80's Lilies", "Wolves".
Meg
Dec 05, 2007 Meg rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fiction writers
I chose this book because a woman from the U. of A. has a story in it. Stephanie Reents was on her way out of Tucson and into the Stegner Fellowship when I met her on my "looking it over" trip to Tucson in the spring of 2002. Now she has a short story in the O. Henry book. Pretty cool. "Disquisition on Tears" was originally published in Epoch, the Cornell mag, but beware, it has a headless women in it....very "Legend of Sleepy Hollow", oooooooohhhhhhhhh.
Not really.
Sarah Payok
I like the O. Henry Prize Stories collections because they are generally compilations of very good short stories from a variety of authors. The stories in the 2006 edition do not seem to be as a consistent high quality as the earlier collections have but I still found many of them thought provoking and enjoyable. My favorite was Louise Erdrich's A Plague of Doves, which is vignette on the intoxication of passionate love.
Danielle
There were several stories in this book I really liked. "Wolves" was very interesting and made me think. I liked that the relationship between husband and wife after all these years wasn't totally cliche estrangement. It was like their enduring love kind of drove them apart...I don't know, it was interesting. I didn't love all of the stories in this book, but I liked most of them.
Jessica
Aside from a handful of great stories ("The Dressmaker's Child"-William Trevor; "Conceived"-David Lawrence Morse; "Plague of Doves"-Louise Erdrich; "Letters in the Snow"-Melanie Rae Thon; and "Window"-Deborah Eisenberg), this collection was drab and predictable. Perhaps 2006 was a bad year for stories, because I recall that BASS 2006 was bland as well.
SmarterLilac
Spectacular. My favorite so far of the 21st century O. Henry collections. This one contains an excellent story by Melanie Rae Thon, which has the distinction of being the last piece of fiction I read that actually made me cry. Cry like a little girl. Doubt I will be that moved again anytime soon.
Melissa
Favorite stories:
Mule Killers by Lydia Peelle
Disquisition on Tears by Stephanie Reents
Passion by Alice Munro
Letters in the Snow-for kind strangers and unborn children-for the ones lost and most beloved by Melanie Rae Thon
Erin
Did not read the whole book. Just the story Conceived by David Morse because he is Jack's brother. His story was great. Maybe will go back and read the rest some other time.
Christian
I love these O. Henry prize winners books. They have always been my favorite. If you love short stories, or have limited time to get engrossed in a book, these are for you!
beyondthepale70
i am a lover of short stories and particularily love the story "mule killers"-lydia peele in this book. i can't wait until we see more from this southern writer.
Laura Jean
A good sample of what short fiction is / has become. Has some gems, but overall, I would say that the stories generally sacrifice boldness for introspection.
Anna
Consistently the best source for a variety of creative short fiction. The best story in this book is "Disquisition on Tears" by Stephanie Reents.
Hannah Jane
Nothing was fantastic here. I didn't make it quite all the way through a lot of them.
Annie
I've only had to skip one so far.

I ended up skipping 2 more.
Tabatha Alcina
My favorite story was 'Conceived.' So unique.
Kat
Each story is better than the next.
Kathleen
Every story is a gem.
Tiffany
Jan 29, 2008 Tiffany rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: short-story fans
A favorite, always.
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Laura J. Furman (born 1945) is an American author best known for her role as series editor for the O. Henry Awards prize story collection. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Mirabella, Ploughshares, Southwest Review.

She has written three collections of stories (The Glass House, Watch Time Fly, and Drinking with the Cook), two novels (The Shadow Line and Tuxedo Park), and a memoir (Ordinary P...more
More about Laura Furman...
O. Henry Prize Stories 2007 O. Henry Prize Stories 2008 (Pen/O. Henry Prize Stories) PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2011: The Best Stories of the Year PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2009 The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2012: Including stories by John Berger, Wendell Berry, Anthony Doerr, Lauren Groff, Yi

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