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20 Under 40: Stories from The New Yorker Paperback – November 23, 2010
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“The sweep of the storytellers included on this list is extraordinary . . . These 20 stories reassure us of the vitality of fiction today and are a testament to its necessity.” ―Elizabeth Taylor, Chicago Tribune
“One volume, then, that hits it out of the park.” ―Jeff Simon, The Buffalo News
“[T]his anthology is oddly uplifting and often transcends both charm and precociousness. If this is the future, the kids are all right.” ―William J. Cobb, Dallas Morning News
“One can't predict how these writers will handle whatever fame and fortune come their way. But the talent on display - and what its editors refer to as the "clear sense of ambition" characterizing this volume's best selections - will spur any reader to reach back for what these writers already have done, while eagerly awaiting their work to come.” ―Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
“In 1999, the last time The New Yorker compiled a list of young writers destined to shake up the literary landscape, the names included Jonathan Franzen, Jhumpa Lahiri, Junot Diaz, Sherman Alexie, David Foster Wallace, Edwidge Danticat, Michael Chabon and George Saunders, all of whom subsequently made tremendous impressions on the world of arts and culture. There's no telling if the new crop of authors featured in 20 Under 40: Stories from The New Yorker will fare as well, but there's great promise in most of their stories gathered here . . . 20 Under 40 offers a unique perspective into the future of fiction.” ―Connie Ogle, Miami Herald
“Of the 20 writers whose short fiction Treisman has gathered here, all are extremely accomplished, even gifted, and some already have a following of devoted readers.” ―Alan Cheuse, NPR.org
“If anyone knows who's who in fiction, it's The New Yorker. So we're loving their new compilation of stories from their buzzy ‘20 Under 40'-- the young writers whose names will be on everyone's lips in the next few years, if they're not already.” ―Marie Claire
“We seem to have entered a golden age of the short-story anthology, if the proliferation of annual and themed collections is any indication.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“A terrific guide to good reading today. Get even if you subscribe to The New Yorker; great for reading groups, hungry literati, students, and naysayers who must be shown that fiction is not dead.” ―Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal
About the Author
Deborah Treisman has been the fiction editor of The New Yorker since 2003, and was deputy fiction editor for five years prior to that.
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Top Customer Reviews
Good: The stories make you think. They present the world in a challenging way. Time after time, characters in the stories make startling decisions that, almost inevitably, make you hope you would do better, be wiser.
Bad: Either the editors that chose the selections have a terrificly depressing world-view, or the current state of literary fiction and the people who comprise it have a negative bent. Without exception, every story in this book is depressing, and in some cases, horrifically so. There is no light to the darkness, no good to the bad. Humans are inherently mean, self-centered, evil, and devoid of concious, and in the rare case that an author in this compilation presents a character who is not those things, then that character is devastatingly ruined, either by external forces or people. Don't get me wrong, life is tragic, and in any good story tragedy must occur. But the good authors, and especially the great authors are always able to exact some salvation for the protagonists. Think "Anna Karenina" - even in her death a sense of redemption can be found. Think of "Oliver Twist." The scope of tragedy in that story outstrips any in this book, but in "Twist" not all is lost. Reading this book, though, there radiates only bleakness. Only tragedy, only horrible decisions. You don't even get the pleasure of seeing the failures engender learning. All but two of the stories are tragic, purely for tragedy's sake.Read more ›
This book is interesting in the sense that it shows you how literary fashion affects literature. Here you have 20 writers, who probably all started off with individual voices and significant talent, who have been successfully homogenized into the current New Yorky literary trend of bare, maudlin prose. If you flip from story to story it is difficult to tell the difference between one writer and another based on style. The rhythm of the sentences is exactly the same from page to page, story to story, world without end, Amen. Frivolities such as humor, happy endings and adverbs have been ruthlessly suppressed.
If you like the Loves column in the NYT and you enjoy The New Yorker, you will probably love this collection.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5 of the "stories" are actually excerpts from the books the authors were working on. You have to read the fine print in one page at the beginning of the book to actually to... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Sivakumar Tadikonda
Each Story is by a wonderful new author and you get the perspective of these authors from
different countries. I enjoyed them very much
I subscribe to the New Yorker podcast, and enjoy many (not all) of the stories. Most of the stories in this collectionI enjoyed, and I was introduced to several new writers,... Read morePublished on January 22, 2012 by Amazon Customer