978-0-618-11749-9 / 9780618117499

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About the book:

In her opening remarks to The Best American Short Stories 2002, guest editor Sue Miller notes the difficulty of reading fiction produced during 2001, the year of the September 11 terrorist attacks. She also remarks that by the time she had finalized her 20 selections, this act of reading had restored her faith both in fiction's significance and its ability to tap into timeless themes. The 2002 anthology includes stories best described as realist fiction or traditional fiction, many set in contemporary times. The tales range from E.L. Doctorow's "A House on the Plains," a murder set at the turn of the century, to pieces with more recent settings, like "Puppy" by Richard Ford, which shows how a New Orleans couple deals--or doesn't deal--with the appearance of a stray dog. Both Jhumpa Lahiri's "Nobody's Business" and Edwidge Danticat's "Seven" deftly portray the disconnection a semi-assimilated Indian American and Haitian American couple experience both as partners and as U.S. citizens. Leonard Michael's "Nachman from Los Angeles," in contrast, adds some levity to the mix. Miller adds in her preface that maybe next year the tales will depart further from tradition, but judging from this volume no departure is necessary: the selections take the reader on a delightful journey through some of America's best contemporary writers. --Jane Hodges

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