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The Best American Short Stories 1999 (The Best American Short Stories)

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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  469 ratings  ·  32 reviews
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Paperback, 448 pages
Published October 29th 1999 by Mariner Books (first published October 1st 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 992)
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Mia
In a lot of the reviews it said that THIS is the book to own of all the current collections, and I have to say that I agree. Not that I have read the rest, but this collection is fascinating. Several times I found myself yelling at the book to stop withholding the next part of the story! 30 pages is too short! What happens next?! Needless to say, I have some new authors to hunt down.

Plus, this book was a thrift store find for me, and it has special significance because it's inscribed with beauti...more
Margie
Definitely among my favorites from this series. I think Tan's choices give a more distinct flavor to this collection - I repeatedly found myself thinking, "Yep, this is something Amy Tan would choose." I liked that. I mean, what's the point of having a celebrity author as guest editor if they're not going to impose their taste?
...and the stories are good, too, natch.
Hester Thorpe
I love love LOVE the Best American Short Stories collections. I keep one in my car at all times. It's so much easier to keep that in the car instead of any book that I'd have to read front to back. I can just pick this up, read a story over lunch, and then put it down again.
I loved several of the stories in here - "The Piano Tuner" by Tim Gautreaux, "Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter" by Chitra Divakaruni, and "The 5:22" by George Harrar. It's always so wonderful to see how each edition varies from on...more
Ariel
Noteworthy/memorable:

The Hermit's Story is one of those "man's relationship with nature" stories that manages to maintain a convincing tone of wonder and suspense throughout the story.

The Sun, The Moon, The Stars is one of my favorite stories and my first introduction to Junot Diaz. The style is raw and real, and the plot so typically human.

The 5:22 is simple, feel-good short fiction that builds character well and then shakes it up wonderfully.

The Best Girlfriend You Never Had is a rambling sto...more
Broadwaydon
I think i'm going to stop reading these collections, or at least stop reading them from cover to cover. A few of these selections were absolutely terrific, but many left me frustrated because they ended with no real resolution. I suspect, however, that if I read one from time to time, they may have had more of an impact on me.
Jaine
One of my favorite short stories is featured in this collection: "The Sun, The Moon, The Stars" by Junot Diaz.

By far, TSTMTS is my favorite Diaz short story. In fact, I read it aloud to myself occasionally (just read it aloud a few nights ago). Whenever I re-read this story, I'm in heaven and I feel like I'm spoiling myself. I used to carry around a copy of the story with me for a while.

I think (don't quote me) Diaz said that after he finished writing TSTMTS that he was shaking.

God, the writin...more
Lindsay
I found this book tedious and very hard to connect to. All the stories were about immigrants and some even not taking place in America. It was not what I expected and while all the stories did have a strong common theme, I though the book title was misleading. Would not recommend
Clark
For a collection of the best american short stories of an entire year, this was pretty pathetic. There were a few bright lights, several pretty decent stories, and an awful lot of terrible stories. Best stories: "The Hermit's Story", "The Sun, the Moon, the Stars", "Marry the One Who Gets There First", "Live Life King-Sized", "The Uncharted Heart".

Worst story by far: "Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter". What an incredibly unthoughtful, tepid and prosaic work of fiction.
Cathy
May 17, 2008 Cathy added it
Shelves: wishlist
Amy Tan Editor

Hermit's Story Rick Bass
the Sun, the moon, the stars Junot Díaz
Piano tuner Tim Gautreaux
Uncharted heart Melissa Hardy
The 5:22 George Harrar
Islands A. Hemon
Best girlfriend you never had Pam Houston
In the kindergarten Ha Jin
Marry the one who gets there first Heidi Julavits
Live life king-sized Hester Kaplan
Africans Sheilia Kohler
Interpreter of maladies Jhumpa Lahiri
Real estate Lorrie Moore
Spryte Digate
Jun 24, 2007 Spryte Digate is currently reading it
Recommends it for: the world
I am always reading this book. I love it like juice. The short story, The incredible appearing man, makes the hair on my arms stand up everytime I read it. It's the best drug. I want to frame every page and hang them above my bed, it's that beautiful. Talent, ladies, talent.
Jad
It is just amusing

I've mainly read it because I've never seen an American short story, i thought that American writers are just like their civilization, every thing is big and huge, so they write novels NOT short stories BUT i was totally wrong

Ursula
Mar 30, 2010 Ursula marked it as to-read
So far this is the "best" Best American Short Stories book I've laid hands on! The Rick Bass story was the perfect opening to this book. This particular collection is really highlighting to me the absolute gem that is a well-crafted short story.
Sonja
I love Amy Tan's books so I thought I would love the stories she chose for this book. However, her tastes are so different than what I expected. While all the stories were well-written, they were not "my kind" of stories.
Sarah
Amy Tan in her introduction suggest that the best way to read a short story is all the way through from beginning to end. I loved this selection, and only didn't finish it because I had to return it to the library.
Anna
I really, really enjoyed all of these stories. Part of the reason is that for many of the stories I had a personal connection in some way: an Indian family; California; Massachusetts, pianos....
Connor Smith
A good showing, although it is interesting to note the unorthodxy of Amy Tan's choices and muse on how much the guest editor, rather than the year, affects the year's Best American Short Stories.
Monica Madaus
I particularly liked "The Piano Tuner" and Annie Proulx's "The Bunchgrass Edge of the World." At first, I didn't think much of the idea of a talking tractor, but it grew on me.
Ellen
I keep trying to enjoy short stories, and some of these had redeeming qualities, however I just can't get into them in general. Sorry short stories I tried.
Charles M.
Collection of short stories---some great, and others not so great---from both well known authors and unknowns. However, this series is always anjoyable...
Rachel
I specifically read this for Amy Tan's works, but found other short stories that were interesting and intriguing. I like the compilation of works.
May FLower
Eh... the first half of the book was interesting, then my interest petered off as the stories became more and more predictable.
E
If you can get your hands on this collection, nearly ten years old now, you won't be disappointed. It's EXTRAORDINARY.
Amy Lindner
I love these collections...

Fav from this one:
The Best Girlfriend You Never Had by Pam Houston
Scott
Jun 10, 2008 Scott is currently reading it
Two of my new favorites: Pam Houston's and Lorrie Moore's. Brad you'll like the one called Kansas
Yona
One thing: hey, literary fiction, why does every marriage have to end in disappointment?
Rebecca
always good. always makes me itch for my pen. but I turn the page instead.
Tatiana Richards Hanebutte
So I'm not quite done, but every story I've read thus far is solid.
SmarterLilac
This one is pretty decent. I especially liked Tan's introduction.
Indra
best collection of short stories EVER. this is the year.
Dawn
Fascinating collection of short stories.
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Amy Tan (Chinese: 譚恩美; pinyin: Tán Ēnměi; born February 19, 1952) is an American writer whose works explore mother-daughter relationships and what it means to grow up as a first generation Asian American. In 1993, Tan's adaptation of her most popular fiction work, The Joy Luck Club, became a commercially successful film.

She has written several other books, including The Kitchen God's Wife, The Hun...more
More about Amy Tan...
The Joy Luck Club The Bonesetter's Daughter The Kitchen God's Wife The Hundred Secret Senses Saving Fish from Drowning

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