PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2018

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On Sale: | $16.95

9781936787937 | Paperback 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 | 224 pages Buy it Now

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9781936787944 | Ebook | 208 pages Buy it Now

Book Description


“A book of gems, each one carrying its own particular clarity and cut, that teaches students of writing how limitless the short story form can be.” —Marie–Helene Bertino, author of 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas

PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2018 celebrates twelve outstanding stories by today’s most promising new fiction writers and the literary magazines that discovered them. The characters within these pages include a college dropout dressed up as Hercules at Disney World; a college graduate playing a prostitute in a ghost town in Montana; a father from Trinidad leading a double life on a temporary visa; and a housewife in Taipei perfectly performing her familial and marital duties while harboring secret desires.

This year’s selections were made by three award–winning writers, themselves innovators of the short story form: Jodi Angel, Lesley Nneka Arimah, and Alexandra Kleeman. Each work is accompanied by commentary from the editors who first published it, explaining what made the piece stand out from the submissions pile, and why they were moved to share it with readers.

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Praise For This Book

"A greatest hits list for contemporary fiction, a way to quickly get up to speed on what’s being published." —Mental Floss

"These are stories that hide behind corners, stories that make grand statements about identity, and stories that offer a full life and times in a small format . . . A strong addition to the annual anthologies." —Christopher John Stephens, PopMatters

"The PEN America contest for outstanding debut fiction returns with a second annual anthology of remarkable prose. This year’s submissions were judged by an all–star trio of fiction writers: Jodi Angel, Lesley Nneka Arimah, and Alexandra Kleeman. Once again, the gathered contest winners are uniquely gifted writers whose stories represent literature’s bright tomorrow. The pieces showcase a wide breadth of human experiences, representing numerous racial, ethnic, and cultural identities. . . . Sharp, engrossing, and sure to leave readers excited about the future of the craft." Booklist

"These dozen stories tend to the dark side, with rare moments of humor in a moody fictive landscape; they're thus just right for their time . . . A pleasure for fans of short fiction and a promise of good things to come from this year's roster of prizewinners." Kirkus Reviews