Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Review: The Story Prize: 15 Years of Great Short Fiction

The Story Prize: 15 Years of Great Short Fiction The Story Prize: 15 Years of Great Short Fiction by Larry Dark
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm trying to get to some of my books of short stories by reading one almost every morning, so I'll keep track here.

This collection features the winning story from the last 15 years of The Story Prize, from Edwidge Danticat to Elizabeth Strout. I'd read four of these stories in their own collections already, but really enjoyed every story in this book for different reasons.

"The Book of Miracles" by Edwidge Danticat
Phew, heavier when you realize how much the mother is carrying and can't share. I've always meant to read more by this author.

"The Postman's Cottage" by Patrick O'Keeffe
The village, the people, the story all reminded me of Reservoir 13.

"My Podiatrist Tells Me a Story About a Boy and a Dog" by Mary Gordon
Stories inside a story about how we build friendships through stories.

"The Zero Meter Diving Team" by Jim Shepard
"...Reason was the ability to use the powers of the surrounding world without ruining that world."
Another Chernobyl story but well-told from the perspective of an oldest brother in Pripyat.

"Bullet in the Brain" by Tobias Wolff
Well the narrator just makes me think of the author really.

"Saleema" by Daniyal Mueenuddin
A woman in Pakistan tries to find connection in her limited life situations. Not cheery!

"Memory Wall" by Anthony Doerr (from Memory Wall)
The title story of that collection, about a woman who records memories and organizes them on a wall. Yep!

"Snowmen" by Steven Millhauser (from We Others)
Gorgeous writing about snowmen that come to life.

"Ghosts, Cowboys" by Claire Vaye Watkins
I had no idea that the author was the daughter of one of Charles Manson's crew, and this is a story about that, kind of. It's also about how stories are told, who they impact, and the setting is interesting. Some of the gory details are not for the weak!

"Tenth of December" by George Saunders (from Tenth of December)
This is my third time reading this story and I can only hear it in the author's voice. I don't want to spoil it but it starts with a boy taking a walk.

"Something Amazing" by Elizabeth McCracken
Is any child safe in this neighborhood?

"Nirvana" by Adam Johnson (from Fortune Smiles)
Holograms of people to get through tough times.. I remember this one from when I first read it years ago!

"How She Remembers It" by Rick Bass
A story about a daughter and her father on a trip to Yellowstone, but the entire time you feel a foreboding... about change, about aging, about memory.

"The Sign" Elizabeth Strout
An aging man in a rural area visits a neighbor and it brings up past grievances. Strout writes so much like Kent Haruf at times - very character focused writing, with such attention to detail.

The publisher sent me a copy of this more than a year ago; my apologies for the delay but I finally read it!
View all my reviews

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