daniel's Reviews > The Best American Short Stories 2011

The Best American Short Stories 2011 by Geraldine Brooks
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's review
Mar 02, 2012

really liked it
Read in March, 2012

there is some very good writing, of course, that does not stir the blood. it's cool, cerebral. tricksy, clever. i admire it in the same way i admire the technical proficiency of a cirque de soleil acrobat: 'look what she's doing up there. i didn't realize a rotator cuff had that range of motion.' but i'm not moved by it. and by the end of the show, so many amazing things have been done that amazement becomes a kind of boredom.

-- ms. brooks's introduction

with these best-of collections, it often strikes me as cruel to put stories in a collection with the likes of stories by richard powers, or steven millhauser, or george saunders. that being said: sam lipsyte's 'the dungeon master' made me read it again i enjoyed it so much; allegra goodman's 'la vita nuova' made me fall in love with style (and the protagonist despite the trope of 'the perfect child' who was her babysitting charge); nathan englander's 'free fruit for young widows' took themes/settings i don't usually enjoy (holocaust, war, moral intellectual debate) and riveted me; and caitlin horrocks's 'the sleep', her story of a town that decides to hibernate the winter months away, was, by far, my favorite of the whole collection.

but george. oh george! thank you.
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