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Nothing That Meets the Eye: The Uncollected Stories of Patricia Highsmith
These short stories are the best I've read lately. Precise and pessimistic.
Jun 2008
Jul 14, 2008
Beasts of the Southern Wild and Other Stories
I decided to read this because Betts' obituary in the Oxford American said that she had taught many of today's best Southern authors at UNC Chapel Hil ...more
Jun 14, 2012
Jun 04, 2012
Some Fun: Stories and a Novella
Oh my god! Being a short story fanatic, I cannot believe that I am just now finding Antonya Nelson. Her themes seem to be the difficulties inherent in ...more
Mar 13, 2009
Mar 10, 2009
The Pushcart Prize XXXVIII: Best of the Small Presses 2014 Edition
3.5 stars. I liked more individual pieces this year than last year, but I didn't like them as much. However, I was thrilled to see my favorite short s ...more
May 22, 2014
Jan 23, 2014
The Pushcart Prize XXXIX: Best of the Small Presses 2015 Edition
This was an exceptional year! There were so many I liked.

Top 4:
Annie Radcliffe, You Are Loved, Barrett Swanson—the vivid intersection of characters’
Jan 29, 2015
Dec 26, 2014
The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction
I am not a Joyce Carol Oates fan, so was worried (and rightly so) about an anthology of stories that she had selected. To me, Oates is heavy handed, l ...more
Jun 04, 2009
Jun 04, 2009
Come Along With Me
Shirley Jackson is sadly underrated. Her brand of psychological terror is made scarier by its juxtaposition with extremely realistic settings (similar ...more
Aug 31, 2010
Aug 28, 2010
Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain: Stories
3.5 stars. These had a jaded humor that I really liked. Anyone Else But Me, for example, is about an older woman who fakes that she's deaf so that she ...more
Dec 13, 2012
Nov 28, 2012
The Pushcart Prize XXXV: Best of the Small Presses
This was not my favorite Pushcart entry, but there were still more standouts than in most other anthologies:

Frost Mountain Picnic Massacre, by Seth
May 13, 2015
May 07, 2015
Birds of America
Quirky short stories, with great lines such as:

The tape is one made earlier in the week. It is a demonstration with fourth graders. They each had to i
Sep 2005
Sep 02, 2007
Acts of God
Very few writers give me as much straight joy as Ellen Gilchrist. Even though in recent years her characters have started being mouthpieces for some p ...more
May 18, 2014
May 13, 2014
Fitting Ends
More excellent short stories about the disappointments and unmet expectations involved in leaving your childhood home and becoming an adult. The portr ...more
Sep 13, 2009
Sep 10, 2009
Among the Missing
This book grew on me. At first I wasn't sure what had inspired all the glowing reviews, but by the end I was wishing that the book was twice as long. ...more
Dec 23, 2008
Dec 20, 2008
Stories: All-New Tales
I tried about eight of these stories, and they all left me cold (one in particular was laughably bad). This collection does not help increase respect ...more
Jun 23, 2010
Jun 23, 2010
Me and My Baby View the Eclipse
This book has a great Steel Magnolias quality about it; it would be a good collection to have on hand if you were in a bad mood and needed a pick-me-u ...more
Apr 14, 2010
Apr 12, 2010
The Night in Question
I picked this up because I recently read and became obsessed with the story Bullet in the Brain (which I didn't realize had such a cult following). Li ...more
Jun 15, 2009
Jun 15, 2009
The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford
4.5 stars. I had never heard of Jean Stafford until I read Dangerous Muse, about Caroline Blackwood. Serendipitous! These were sharp, cutting period p ...more
Feb 07, 2012
Dec 24, 2011
Dangerous Laughter
Steven Millhauser has this fantasy-mixed-with-reality thing that I love. Straight up fantasy leaves me cold, but if you mix the unbelievable with the ...more
Mar 2008
Apr 17, 2009
Super America
I loved these stories. The characters seemed to be closely observing their lives from the outside and then commenting on them. I saw Panning compared ...more
Apr 05, 2009
Mar 13, 2009
Going Away Shoes
This was darker, but also funnier, than McCorkle's other work. Most of the stories dealt with regret and/or the capacity of family members and spouses ...more
Nov 05, 2009
Jun 01, 2009
New Stories from the South 2001: The Year's Best
Elizabeth Tippens' Make a Wish alone is worth tracking this down at the library. See also: George Singleton's Public Relations and Kurt Rheinheimer's ...more
Apr 19, 2015
Apr 18, 2015
I Knew You'd Be Lovely
This is the best short story collection I've read this year (the only other contender being You Know When the Men Are Gone). The general theme is the ...more
Aug 23, 2011
May 04, 2011
Single, Carefree, Mellow: Stories
Oh, wow, I haven't been this excited about a short story collection since Courtney Eldridge's Unkempt. I could have done without quite so much infidel ...more
Feb 09, 2015
Feb 06, 2015
We Live in Water
I haven't liked Jess Walters' other books, but these are excellent short stories about the criminal life in the Northwest. The dialogue, especially, i ...more
Mar 11, 2013
Mar 09, 2013
Carrying the Torch: Stories
These are funny, sometimes surreal stories of suburban alienation, in the vein of A.M. Homes or Wells Tower. David Gates (who compared Clarke to a con ...more
Sep 22, 2009
Sep 16, 2009
Getting Over Tom
Another great book by Abigail Thomas. Here's an example of her style:
Bunny's problems are all inside Bunny's head. She gets terrible pictures in her m
Mar 2005
Sep 06, 2007
The Summer Before the Summer of Love
This is a good, solid short story collection, with Still Point being the standout. These stories were written in the early '90's, so they also have a ...more
Aug 27, 2010
Aug 17, 2010
Other People We Married
3.5 stars. These were good, but they were the tiniest bit too hipster, and too thematically the same. Certain images kept cropping up: the woman in he ...more
Jan 23, 2012
Dec 14, 2011
Throw Like a Girl
These stories are unsettling but the writing is gorgeous. I am happy that David Sedaris brought Jean Thompson to so many people's attention.
Dec 2007
Apr 17, 2009
Crash Diet: Stories
As far as I'm concerned, Jill McCorkle can do no wrong. She is particularly good at writing in the first-person voice of a teenager.
Nov 17, 2009
Nov 16, 2009
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