Dawn's Reviews > The Best American Short Stories 2010 (The Best American Series

The Best American Short Stories 2010 (The Best American Series by Richard Russo
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Jan 25, 11

bookshelves: short-story-collections
Read in January, 2011

Some of my favorites:

"My Last Attempt to Explain What Happened with the Lion Tamer" - My favorite. It's told in second person which is so hard to do well. It's about a clown in a traveling circus who falls in love with the new trapeze artist, who has an affair with the lion tamer. A laugh-out-loud love triangle that is superbly written.

"Painted Ocean, Painted Ship" - My next favorite. A beautiful, successful college professor and her ridiculous self-doubt and inability to be happy with her life is charged with racial discrimination by a student.

"Into Silence" - Set during the Depression, Janey is a middle-aged deaf woman who lives at home with her controlling, manipulative mother. A WPA photographer arrives to rent out their spare room while he is working in the area, and Janey discovers he knows ASL and the mother grows suspicious of their friendship.

"Delicate Edible Birds" - Set during WWII as the Nazis are about to storm Paris, a group of photographers and journalists knock on the wrong door to ask for fuel and food. A Nazi sympathizer and his two sons lock them in their barn and refuse to let them out until the female in the group agrees to have sex with him.

"Donkey Greedy, Donkey Gets Punched" - An amateur-card-playing psychologist's new patient is a professional card player with an anger management problem. The psychologist soon discovers the physical tic that happens when the player is bluffing and has the opportunity to use it to his advantage.

"The Valetudinarian" - A hypochondriac retiree in Florida celebrates his birthday with the help of a Russian prostitute, compliments of a friend. Hijinks (and a bit of unbelievability) ensue.

"PS" - A divorcee writes a letter to her former marriage counselor after her marriage breaks down due to her husband becoming a born again Christian. Quite funny.

"The Ascent" - A young boy finds a crashed plane in the Smoky Mountains and brings home some of its contents to his drug-addict parents. A bit unbelievable at times, but so sad in the end.

"All Boy" - Story of an effeminate, 10-year-old boy and his in-the-closet father.


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