Lacey Louwagie's Reviews > The Best American Short Stories 2003

The Best American Short Stories 2003 by Walter Mosley
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May 19, 2011

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bookshelves: literary-fiction, short-stories
Read from May 03 to 05, 2011

So, seeing as these are "the best" American short stories of 2003, I don't really feel right about dissing any of them. Because even the ones that I didn't like, I could trust the compilers of this collection enough to know they were still quality stories. I liked the diversity of voices, although it felt a little token-ish (here's a story about a Native American, here's a story about a Chinese-American, here's a story about an African American . . .). A few of my thoughts on specific stories:

Coins - This is a story about a Philipino nanny and her charge. I liked the writing style and the details included and the glimpse into two different lives--her own, and the family she worked for. The ending felt so abrupt that I had to listen to it twice to make sure I didn't miss anything.

Baby Wilson - This was one of my favorite stories, about a man's "crazy" girlfriend who kidnaps a baby and tries to pretend it's their love child

Kavita Through Glass - A story about a Muslim man who feels his Hindu wife growing distant from him as her pregnancy progresses. This is the story that sticks with me the most.

Space - I'm sure this story was well written, but I had such a hard time paying attention to it. I still don't remember what the point of it was.

The rest of the stories didn't make a big impression on me one way or the other. I think this was an abridged version of the book, but since every short story was self contained and I knew that whole stories were probably cut out rather than chunks of one story, I waived my "no abridged audiobooks" rule. Also, I liked that in the intro, the editor said that there was "no difference" between novels and short stories. (Well, except maybe length). That gave me inspiration to continue wrestling with producing short stories myself. :)
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