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The Best American Short Stories, 1989 Paperback – October 1, 1989

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Product Details

  • Series: Best American Short Stories
  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (P) (October 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395470986
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395470985
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,284,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Atwood ( Cat's Eye ) defines a good story as one that "must be told with as much intentness as if the teller's life depended on it," and this anthology is, for the most part, unusually compelling. Atwood and series editor Ravenel's 20 selections achieve momentum via a variety of approaches. Blanche McCrary Boyd's "The Black Hand Girl," for example, adopts a delicious deadpan tone to describe a Southern charmer eager to lose her virginity whose date bursts a blood vessel on his knuckle fumbling with her girdle. But the omnibus is predominantly somber: Bharati Mukherjee's "The Management of Grief" is wrenchingly narrated by an Indian immigrant to Canada whose husband and children die when a bomb destroys the plane carrying them and many of their neighbors; drugs kill a 16-year-old boy who is as "ordinary as Wally and the Beav" in Michael Cunningham's "White Angel." Other pieces are ennobled by cogently drawn characters--the English nanny of Harriet Doerr's deliberately unfashionable "Edie: A Life"; the small-town poetess of Alice Munro's "Meneseteung"; the spiritual Chickasaw woman of Linda Hogan's "Aunt Moon's Young Man."
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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3 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Gerke on June 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
An anthology is probably not the best way to read short stories. In any event, the stories became monotonous after a while (perhaps Margaret Atwood only likes one particular type of short story). A variety of people (usually women) who are very sad, and often otherwise psychologically disfunctional, numbly lament their sadness, dysfunctionality, family, mistakes, etc. Maybe if there had been a few stories that contained something other than elegant writing about depression, then I would have enjoyed the depression stories more. As it was, I could barely finish. The best one was "Edie, A Life."
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