The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction: 50 North American Short Stories Since 1970
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The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction: 50 North American Short Stories Since 1970

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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  439 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Selected from a survey of more than five hundred English professors, short story writers, and novelists, this revised and updated second edition features fifty remarkable stories by a wide spectrum of stylistically and culturally diverse authors.
Paperback, 652 pages
Published May 22nd 2008 by Touchstone (first published 1999)
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Myles
Need I write anything at all? Simply look at the authors collected here - the variety and quality is astounding. Tbe best of what the English language had to offer in literary short fiction from 1970 to 1999.

Are all the stories life-changing works of art that will stay with you forever?

No, but I guarantee that there is no better anthology out there coming close to this one - there is truly something for everyone here and undoubted proof of the power of the short story.
Jacqueline West
I found this on one of those bargain racks at Waldenbooks, and man, was it worth the $4.99. For a collection this large, the quality is consistently excellent, and almost all of the modern masters of the short story are represented: Raymond Carver, Lorrie Moore, Alice Munro, Joyce Carol Oates, Sherman Alexie, etc. It would have been well worth the price just for the sake of Annie Proulx's "Brokeback Mountain," Richard Bausch's "The Man Who Knew Belle Starr," and Reginald McKnight's "The Kind of...more
Tracy
50 short stories. I couldn't get through two of them. However, there were four that were so beautifully written they made my heart ache. I plan on using several of them in the classroom for my students. Two things were great about this book: the fact I didn't stay up until 3am reading and I have a slew of other books I want/need to read written by some of these authors.
Michael
This book is probably the best deal I've ever gotten. One book, fifty stories by fifty writers. While none of the stories in here blew me away, all of them are very good and they are a good introduction to a lot of great writers that I hope to read more from. I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants an easy way to be exposed to a lot of good writing.
Sam
Thank you for depressing me over and over again.
Jeff Lanter
This is a pretty strong collection of short stories, some of which I had already read in various fiction workshops. It is impossible to collect the best works or to satisfy every reader, but I felt like this collection tries to get a lot of different authors both culturally and aesthetically. I thought the beginning and middle stories were stronger than the last third for whatever reason. If I had to pick a favorite, it would have to be The Caretaker. It is hands down one of the most powerful st...more
Liz Mourant
This anthology, at the halfway mark, has already surpassed my expectations held out for a prime cut of anthologized meat! Inside my book, I felt the need to distinguish the very best of stories with underliner and checks as they were stellar examples of craft. Yet, nearly every story inside this book is a winner and a delight to feast one's imagination and desires for fulfilling fiction within. Joyous, but not wholly from joy...often from dailiness, sorrowing, and variegated jousts with the stuf...more
Teresa
As with any collection like this, you will love some and there will be others that you don't care for nearly as much.

Unfortunately, there are some in the beginning (it's set up alphabetically by author) that I've forgotten about. So the ones I do remember from the beginning were quite memorable (obviously) and I'll include those in what I think are the 5-star stories (though I've probably missed some as well):

John Barth's "Click," Donald Barthelme's "The School," Raymond Carver's "Errand," Juno...more
Jim
Jun 23, 2011 Jim rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: short story fans
A great collection of short stories. My only complaint is that i'd read many of the short-stories previously. I can't say i love every story in this collection. This is quite the eclectic group of stories and one out of three stories is incredible.

Some of my favorites in the book:
Richard, Mark: Strays
Kincaid, Jamaica: Girl
Jones, Thom: Cold Snap
Atwood, Margaret: Death by Landscape
Barth, John: Click
Oates, Joyce Carol: Ghost Girl
Hempel, Amy: In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried
O'Brien, Tim: Th...more
David Contreras
Probably one of the better short story anthologies I've read (still have the Oxford and Ecco anthology left). Starts off incredibly strong, meanders for a bit, gets interesting again, then boring, then great, then really great, and then finishes strong. So, your typical anthology.

Absolute favorites:

"Sarah Cole: A Type of Love Story," Russel Banks
"The Hermit's Story," Rick Bass
"The Fireman's Wife," Richard Bausch
"The Disappeared," Charles Baxter
"The Caretaker," Anthony Doerr
"Communist," Richard...more
Kateragan
I love this anthology and recommend it to anyone who has half a stomach for short stories. One of my favorite stories is "White Angel," it has phrases like "all velvet motherliness." It is a stunning piece of fiction. I also enjoyed "Silver Water" , "Customs of the Country" , "Brokeback Mountain" , "The Things they Carried" , "In the Cemetery where Al Jolson is Buried" , "Rock Springs" , "Tall Tales from the Mekong Delta" , "The Man who Knew Belle Star", "Wild Horses" "Sarah Cole: A Type of Love...more
Jennifer
Loved reading a massive collection and being introduced to new authors and read stories that reinforced the ones I already admire. Interesting that while these stories are supposed to cover the 1970s to now that most of these stories were published in the 1990s and 2000s while a few were published in the 1980s and no later. Faves here are the stories by Antonya Nelson, Steve Yarborough, Stacey Richter, Daniel Orozco, Julie Orringer, ZZ Packer, George Saunders, Tim O'Brien (of course), Denis John...more
s.m. k.
Several stories by authors with very different styles. I think the diversity of styles is a strength of the book. I bought this book for a creative writing course and have read many (but not all) of the stories in it. Those familiar with the world of short story writing will recognize several names. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in reading quality short stories or writing them.

I have yet to determine who my favorites are in this format.
Komal
I loved this anthology - I love short fiction so this was right up my alley.

Some of these I had already read before and I loved seeing them in this anthology again...the ones I can remember off the top of my head are Barthelme, Diaz, Lahiri, and O'Brien.

I enjoyed seeing Mukherjee and Tan included in here as well.

I think it's great bc it's diverse (it should be it's long!) and really a collection of some of the best pieces out there.
Morgan Williams
This isn't a bad collection to have if you want to familiarize yourself with contemporary North American literary fiction. It isn't my favorite by a long way, and it includes some disappointingly mediocre stories. But there are one or two, like Sherman Alexie's This Is What It Means To Say Phoenix, Arizona, or Kate Braverman's Tall Tales From The Mekong Delta which are worth having the book for.
Sarah
Fantastic! I'm just starting to read short fiction, and this anthology introduced me to many of the big names in the genre. If you haven't read "Sarah Cole: A Type of Love Story" by Russell Banks, or "Sea Oak" by George Saunders, or "Stone Animals" by Kelly Link, or "Jealous Husband Returns in Form of Parrot" by Robert Olen Butler, or "Caviar" by T.C. Boyle...
Beth
I liked the concept of this book: short stories selected to show people how to write short stories. The selections by Amy Hempel, Lorrie Moore, Lee Smith, and Susan Sontag were brilliant as usual. My favorite new finds were Customs of the Country, Cold Snap, The Kind of Light that Shines on Texas, Strays, and 1955.
Ben
The stories are all worth reading, but I particularly liked:

Sarah Cole: A Type of Love Story
The Fireman's Wife
The Disappeared
Twilight of the Superheroes
Nilda
Winners on the Pass Line
A Temporary Matter
Stone Animals
The Kind of Light That Shines on Texas
The Translation
The Cavemen in the Hedges
Xmas, Jamaica Plain
Nineteen Fifty-five
Kelly
Good selection. Contains pieces by the big names --Atwood, Carver, Cisneros, Dybek, Jamaica Kincaid. This has one of my favorite short stories in it: David Barthelme's "The School." The editors did a good job of selecting women and people of color, IMO. (I picked this up to reread Dybek's Pet Milk this evening and then kept on going.)
Barb
When you have an anthology, editors always feel they have to choose types of short stories to represent, instead of the stories that dazzle and stay with you. I read all 50 and can remember about 5, 4 of which I'd read previously. I read a few from the anthology of 100 shorts stories and decided I'm "shorted" out for a while!
Allison Shell
Enjoyed this collection--easy to pick up for a quick read when I had a few minutes.
Favorite in this collection was Gryphon by Charles Baxter. The Shawl (Cynthia Ozick), only four pages long, I had to read in two parts, I found it so disturbing. Could not get through the Barth or the Sontag--style was impossible for me.
Juliana Gray
Finally! It took me almost five months to plow through this anthology, but it was worth it. I got the anthology as a textbook, and was already familiar with a lot of the more famous stories, but thought I should read all of them. I'm glad I did, because there are some real gems that I'll be adding to future syllabi.
Michael
Some pretty great stories in here. This is one of the most up-to-date anthologies, covering a lot of those pieces in the 90s and even early 00s. The editors keep updating it every so often, so they keep it relevent. A nice anthology for either a burgeoning writer, to have on the shelf, or for a class.
Saben
We used this book in a writing workshop I attended. While I'm generally not inclined to read short stories so much, this is a great collection of some of the best short stories ever written since 1970. What I like is there are little blurbs about the authors and the stories in the beginning of each story.
Vanessa
A good survey of contemporary short story. Will introduce you to a lot of writers you should follow up on and read their collections. After that, you can argue if the best one had been selected for inclusion! Published in 1999, so it doesn't include the most recent crop of young up and comers.
Thomas
a surprisingly quick read. since these are choices pulled from the results of a survey given to English professors and novelists alike, it is essentially reading advice from the gods. a well thought out compilation of names the universal you needs to know. minus amy tan.
angrykitty
i put this in the classics-smartypants category because i really believe that these stories help to make up the new classics-smartypants lit. there're some great stories here, and if you're not familiar with the authors, you should get to know them....they're good.....
giao
It took me two years to finish this collection, partly because i kept going back to my favorite stories and partly because it is a great study of contemporary writers and styles. Man-in the fluidity of images (series of words), i am in awe of how timing is everything.
Ob-jonny
Great collection of short stories. Each of them are very powerful and there is a mix of uplifting and depressing endings. My favorite short story is about an old Vietnamese man who is visited by the ghost of his old friend Ho Chi Minh.
tomlinton
The universe knows
most collections
most short stories
put me to sleep
so i'm ecstatic to report
i read every single one
of these not so little suckers
and I'm delighted
with the choices of the editors
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Goodreads Librari...: Cover page showing two different covers 6 96 Nov 12, 2013 01:54PM  
stories in this book 1 11 Oct 18, 2008 08:25PM  
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