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The Best American Short Stories 1999 (The Best American Short Stories)

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3.99  ·  Rating details ·  569 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Rookie of the Year


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Paperback, 448 pages
Published October 29th 1999 by Mariner Books (first published October 1st 1999)
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Giddy Girlie
May 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
In a lot of the reviews it said that THIS is the book to own of all the current collections, and I have to say that I agree. Not that I have read the rest, but this collection is fascinating. Several times I found myself yelling at the book to stop withholding the next part of the story! 30 pages is too short! What happens next?! Needless to say, I have some new authors to hunt down.

Plus, this book was a thrift store find for me, and it has special significance because it's inscribed with beauti
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Margie
Jan 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: collections, series
Definitely among my favorites from this series. I think Tan's choices give a more distinct flavor to this collection - I repeatedly found myself thinking, "Yep, this is something Amy Tan would choose." I liked that. I mean, what's the point of having a celebrity author as guest editor if they're not going to impose their taste?
...and the stories are good, too, natch.
Hester Rathbone
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: home
I love love LOVE the Best American Short Stories collections. I keep one in my car at all times. It's so much easier to keep that in the car instead of any book that I'd have to read front to back. I can just pick this up, read a story over lunch, and then put it down again.
I loved several of the stories in here - "The Piano Tuner" by Tim Gautreaux, "Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter" by Chitra Divakaruni, and "The 5:22" by George Harrar. It's always so wonderful to see how each edition varies from on
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Ryan
Aug 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Probably a few more stinkers than usual, and I didn't always vibe with Amy Tan's love of the uncanny or fairy-tale-like, but on the whole, plenty to enjoy here. In particular, I was pleased to be so completely won over by Jhumpa Lahiri, whom I'd been avoiding after reading a very tedious story of hers some years ago. "Interpreter of Maladies" was the arguably the best of the set.

Favorites in rough order of preference:
* Jhumpa Lahiri - "Interpreter of Maladies"
* Alice Munro - "Save the Reaper"
* N
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Brenda
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent collection. Diverse, interesting stories. My favorites were: The Sun, The Moon, The Stars by Junot Diaz, Live Life King-Sized by Hester Kaplan, Save the Reaper by Alice Munro, The Rest of Her Life by Steve Yarbrough.

This collection also features Melissa Hardy, Jhumpa Lahiri, Lorrie Moore, and Annie Proulx, to name a few.

I look forward to reading more in this series.
Peter Crockett
May 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Really uneven collection. Quite enjoyed a few; many left me with nothing.
Suzanne
I only read 7 out of the 21 stories but there are another 6-7 I would like to read.

My favorites, and authors I would like to check out are...
- Marry the One Who Gets There First by Pam Houston (from 'Other Voices', really liked style of writing, definitely see what else she has written) **** */*

- Ms. Dutta Writes a Letter by Chitra Dinakaruni (published in 'The Atlantic Monthly', good story, check out other stories/books) ***

- The 5:22 by George Harrar (published in 'Story', check out other st
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Jerry
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Amy Tan was the “pro” editor of this collection, and in the introduction she says she tended toward short stories with a bare amount of fantasy in them. Those stories, in my opinion, are the best in the book, starting with Rick Bass’s The Hermit’s Story, about walking under a frozen lake to avoid the cold in Canada’s winter.

Stephen Dobyns’s Kansas is another standout, which I can’t really describe without spoiling the effect.

Nathan Englander’s The Tumblers involves a small Jewish community tryin
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Ariel
Mar 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Noteworthy/memorable:

The Hermit's Story is one of those "man's relationship with nature" stories that manages to maintain a convincing tone of wonder and suspense throughout the story.

The Sun, The Moon, The Stars is one of my favorite stories and my first introduction to Junot Diaz. The style is raw and real, and the plot so typically human.

The 5:22 is simple, feel-good short fiction that builds character well and then shakes it up wonderfully.

The Best Girlfriend You Never Had is a rambling sto
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Jaine
Jul 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
One of my favorite short stories is featured in this collection: "The Sun, The Moon, The Stars" by Junot Diaz.

By far, TSTMTS is my favorite Diaz short story. In fact, I read it aloud to myself occasionally (just read it aloud a few nights ago). Whenever I re-read this story, I'm in heaven and I feel like I'm spoiling myself. I used to carry around a copy of the story with me for a while.

I think (don't quote me) Diaz said that after he finished writing TSTMTS that he was shaking.

God, the writin
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Clark
Jul 29, 2008 rated it it was ok
For a collection of the best american short stories of an entire year, this was pretty pathetic. There were a few bright lights, several pretty decent stories, and an awful lot of terrible stories. Best stories: "The Hermit's Story", "The Sun, the Moon, the Stars", "Marry the One Who Gets There First", "Live Life King-Sized", "The Uncharted Heart".

Worst story by far: "Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter". What an incredibly unthoughtful, tepid and prosaic work of fiction.
Cathy
May 17, 2008 added it
Shelves: wishlist
Amy Tan Editor

Hermit's Story Rick Bass
the Sun, the moon, the stars Junot Diaz
Piano tuner Tim Gautreaux
Uncharted heart Melissa Hardy
The 5:22 George Harrar
Islands A. Hemon
Best girlfriend you never had Pam Houston
In the kindergarten Ha Jin
Marry the one who gets there first Heidi Julavits
Live life king-sized Hester Kaplan
Africans Sheilia Kohler
Interpreter of maladies Jhumpa Lahiri
Real estate Lorrie Moore
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Don
Jul 19, 2014 rated it liked it
I think i'm going to stop reading these collections, or at least stop reading them from cover to cover. A few of these selections were absolutely terrific, but many left me frustrated because they ended with no real resolution. I suspect, however, that if I read one from time to time, they may have had more of an impact on me.
Richard Jespers
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Editorial choices are so based on the editor’s personality, tastes. I liked most all of these stories. One is perfect in its realization: Jhumpa Lahiri’s “Interpreter of Maladies.” The most incomprehensible story was Steve Yarborough’s “The Rest of Her Life.” Read it twice and need to read it again, I guess.
Sarah
Jul 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Amy Tan in her introduction suggest that the best way to read a short story is all the way through from beginning to end. I loved this selection, and only didn't finish it because I had to return it to the library.
Jad
Oct 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
It is just amusing

I've mainly read it because I've never seen an American short story, i thought that American writers are just like their civilization, every thing is big and huge, so they write novels NOT short stories BUT i was totally wrong

Spryte Digate
Jun 24, 2007 is currently reading it
Recommends it for: the world
I am always reading this book. I love it like juice. The short story, The incredible appearing man, makes the hair on my arms stand up everytime I read it. It's the best drug. I want to frame every page and hang them above my bed, it's that beautiful. Talent, ladies, talent.
Ursula
Mar 30, 2010 marked it as to-read
So far this is the "best" Best American Short Stories book I've laid hands on! The Rick Bass story was the perfect opening to this book. This particular collection is really highlighting to me the absolute gem that is a well-crafted short story.
Lindsay
Jan 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
I found this book tedious and very hard to connect to. All the stories were about immigrants and some even not taking place in America. It was not what I expected and while all the stories did have a strong common theme, I though the book title was misleading. Would not recommend
Sonja
Dec 27, 2008 rated it liked it
I love Amy Tan's books so I thought I would love the stories she chose for this book. However, her tastes are so different than what I expected. While all the stories were well-written, they were not "my kind" of stories.
E
Oct 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adultfiction
If you can get your hands on this collection, nearly ten years old now, you won't be disappointed. It's EXTRAORDINARY.
Charles M.
Collection of short stories---some great, and others not so great---from both well known authors and unknowns. However, this series is always anjoyable...
Dawn
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fascinating collection of short stories.
Yona Yurwit
May 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One thing: hey, literary fiction, why does every marriage have to end in disappointment?
Amy Lindner
I love these collections...

Fav from this one:
The Best Girlfriend You Never Had by Pam Houston
May FLower
Nov 12, 2010 rated it it was ok
Eh... the first half of the book was interesting, then my interest petered off as the stories became more and more predictable.
Tatiana Richards Hanebutte
So I'm not quite done, but every story I've read thus far is solid.
Amber
Jul 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Annie Proulx just knocks my damn socks off.
Indra
Jun 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
best collection of short stories EVER. this is the year.
Rebecca
Sep 10, 2009 rated it liked it
always good. always makes me itch for my pen. but I turn the page instead.
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Amy Tan (Chinese: 譚恩美; pinyin: Tán Ēnměi; born February 19, 1952) is an American writer whose works explore mother-daughter relationships and what it means to grow up as a first generation Asian American. In 1993, Tan's adaptation of her most popular fiction work, The Joy Luck Club, became a commercially successful film.

She has written several other books, including The Kitchen God's Wife, The Hun
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More about Amy Tan...

Other Books in the Series

The Best American Short Stories (1 - 10 of 90 books)
  • The Best Short Stories of 1915, and the Yearbook of the American Short Story
  • The Best American Short Stories of 1916: And the Yearbook of the American Short Story (1917)
  • The Best Short Stories of 1917
  • The Best Short Stories of 1918 and the Yearbook of the American Short Story
  • The Best Short Stories of 1919
  • The Best Short Stories of 1920 and the Yearbook of the American Short Story
  • The Best Short Stories of 1921, and the Yearbook of the American Short Story
  • The Best Short Stories of 1922 and the Yearbook of the American Short Story
  • Best Short Stories: 1927
  • The Best Short Stories of 1931 And the Yearbook of the American Short Story 1931