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New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 2006 (New Stories from the South)
We launch into our third decade by welcoming a guest editor—to select and introduce each year’s collection—and who better to inaugurate the change than Allan Gurganus. He has combed through hundreds of short stories written in 2005 to assemble a muscular array of talent, twenty stories ranging from low-down, high-octane farce to dark, erotic suspense.
This year’s volume com...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 18th 2006 by Algonquin Books
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I’m generally leery about these “best of” collections—the quality of the work is almost always spotty, and one frequently gets the sense that it wasn’t so much the “best of” as “the best way” – to pay back friends, to promote students, to curry favor. The fact that such series not infrequently choose guest editors like Beck or the mega-novelist/screenwriter of the moment, rather than people whom we might reasonably expect to possess a certain amount of judgment with regard to contemporary writin ...more
I listened to the audio book back and forth to several out-of-town meetings lately. There were a few stories I did not really care for, but, for the most part, this is a really solid collection. There were a few that made me laugh, a couple that brought tears to my eyes and many that made me see the South clear as a bell. The narrators (a different one for each story) sounded authentic as well. It was nice that a story set in Georgia had someone reading with a Georgia accent, while an Alabama st ...more
Sep 13, 2014 Judi rated it liked it · review of another edition
Eh. This collection was OK. I enjoyed "Tastes Just Like Chicken" the most. For me, it came around full circle. Short stories are very hard to write. Most in this collection pumped up fast and had it goin', but then just abruptly stopped. Left me scratchin' my head.
I asked for short story collections last Christmas as I anticipated having little reading time -- and a short attention span -- with a baby due in January. This collection has been a welcome change of pace from my reading about infant development and breastfeeding. The editing author's dicussion of what are authentic Southern stories is terrific. And there is a varied collection of voices telling the stories. There have been a few I wished were full novels, but all (save one) have been satisfyin ...more
I have been an avid reader of Southern fiction for a while and short stories are one of my favorite mediums. These collections tend to showcase new and old authors, but always new stories. The cultural evolution and stagnation of the South is quite evident based on my readings of this series over the past 15 years. The tidy quality of the short story appeals to my ADD and desire to always read before sleep. Plus...I read them over and over.
Since 1989, Allan Gurganus’s novels, stories and essays have become a singularly unified and living body of work. Known for dark humor, erotic candor, pictorial clarity and folkloric sweep, his prose is widely translated. Gurganus’s stories, collected as “Piccoli eroi”, were just published to strong Italian reviews. France’s La Monde has called him “a Mark Twain for our age, hilariously clear-eyed ...moreMore about Allan Gurganus...
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