Tyler's Reviews > The Best American Short Stories of the Century

The Best American Short Stories of the Century by John Updike
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Apr 23, 09

Read in July, 2008

First you should know I've always loved short stories. The really great ones seem to have all the richness and plot and feeling of a novel, but wrapped up in a few short pages. So it's a challenging genre to do well, sort of like the famous apology from Blaise Pascal for writing a long letter because he "lacked the time to make it short." This book is specifically American stories published in the 20th century, and you can imagine the process they must have gone through to narrow down the list. I can't resist listing a few that I enjoyed most:

"Little Selves" by Mary Lerner
"Wild Plums" by Grace Stone Coates
"My Dead Brother Comes to America" by Alexander Godin
"In the Gloaming" by Alice Elliott Dark

They're not all happy stories, and some will rip your heart out. But they're all poignant and impactful and beautiful. Sort of like life I guess.
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