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The Best American Short Stories 1995 Paperback – November 15, 1995


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Product Details

  • Series: Best American Short Stories
  • Paperback: 366 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (November 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395711797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395711798
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #359,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Smiley, this year's editor, has drawn together an eclectic and powerful selection of stories that makes this an exemplary introduction to a consistently reliable annual anthology. The writers included here range from the well-established to the completely unknown, with a full half of the authors included yet to publish a book with a major press. Equally exciting as the discovery of a new writer can be the thrill of seeing an established writer break new ground, as happens in Don DeLillo's "The Angel Esmeralda," which involves an old nun, an abandoned young girl and an apparent miracle in the South Bronx. Making his fourth consecutive appearance in the collection, Thom Jones uses his usual cast of wired and edgy characters, along with the extraordinary comic personality of George Babbitt, a pet baboon with a fondness for Canadian Mist whiskey in "Way Down Deep in the Jungle." Among the newer writers, standouts include Avner Mandelman, whose "Pity" is a taut story about Israeli secret agents out to capture a Nazi living in Paris, and Edward Falco, the author of "The Artist," in which a man must outsmart desperate figures from his past. This is a rich and rewarding collection that provides ample confirmation of both the diversity of American life and the vitality of the contemporary short story.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

If you've been acquiring the volumes in this estimable series, don't stop now. Not that the 1995 edition is the best ever, but it's as outstanding as any of its predecessors! Of the 20 stories, those by big names (such as Jamaica Kincaid, Don DeLillo, and Ellen Gilchrist) will grab initial attention, but the lesser-known authors should be read without delay, particularly Daniel Orozco's "Orientation," a monologue by an experienced worker instructing a new employee on who's who around the office, and "Hand Jive," the first published story by Andrew Cozine, concerning the narrator's peculiar habit that developed in childhood--" my proud, beautiful, odd, horrific secret." Brad Hooper --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joseph H. Race VINE VOICE on June 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
I realize it's 2010, and 1995 was about 15 years ago. However, I found this collection in the hotel lobby on a little remote island of Kosrae in the Pacific, and finally got around to tackling it piece-by-piece on a boat and then a plane. Apparently it had been left by an Australian for other tavelers to read, which many of us do on the lttle tropical islands 'cause there ain't no book stores. I read the Amazon reviews and once again, brought to mind about how we all have different preferences in cars, food, movies, lovers, and of course, stories and books. It is an oddball collection of stories but I enjoyed just about every one. I would encourage all to read. You can find my copy in Palau unless someone from the Philippines found it first. Happy reading!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Interesting stories some very strange ones among them. However, that's what I love about Best American Short Stories no matter the year. A short story can be so powerful and if it's just mundane that's okay too because it's a short story.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By O. K. Granger on March 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this collection so much, that I loaned it out to a friend who never gave it back, and have thought of The Angel Esmeralda and Hand Jive so much that I had to buy it again. The Jennifer Cornell story is quite affecting also.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 2, 1997
Format: Paperback
Short story fans, beware. Jane Smiley has assembled one of the oddest collections of stories ever between two covers. Obviously the original magazines already committed to these authors and stories by publishing them, but for Smiley to call them "best" is unsettling. I thought the first story, Daniel Orozco's "Orientation" (Seattle Review), was the best piece in the book--a knockout tour de force. I also really liked Ellie Gilchrist's "The Stucco House" (Atlantic) and Max Garland's "Chiromancy" (New England Review). Some were near misses for me that some of my students liked (I taught the book in Creative Writing): Kincaid's, Davies', Braverman's. I was shocked to see not one but two creepy stories about grotesquely injured legs allowed to go untended (by Polansky and Dobyns), and Thon's "First, Body" (on a hospital worker who gets trapped under a dead body) is the first story in a BASS anthology I gave a "O" to on a scale of one to ten-- sickening to read. Cozine's very sad tale of a young man's masturbatory personality disorder split my class--some felt it neatly caught gen-x malaise, but one "even hated the paper it was printed on." Well-known writers like Jones, DeLillo, Williams and Jen are not at their best in their contributions here. And why the Atlantic published the farfetched TV-style slick suspense tale "The Artist" (by Falco) is beyond me. I have already found some stories on the 100 title short list at the end I like much better than most of the ones selected. But read the book for yourself and make up your own mind. One thing's for sure: according to these writers, at least, American families are in very deep trouble
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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
My review of this collection is completely biased because of the fact that I appear as a character in one of the short stories. The story is "Hand Jive" by Andrew Cozine and he mentions me by name with the claim that he and I were the smartest students in school. He also goes on to criticize the superhero I created in third grade, for having "too many powers." Unfortunately, my review is tempered by the fact that he incorrectly remembered my superhero's name as "Boy" when I of course know that the real nom de plume was "Comet Boy". As a participant in what is actually an autobiographical story by the author, it is sad to read about the all the personal quirks that tormented Andrew during his life. I'm happy to report that he has turned into a normal, well-adjusted adult (or at least so he seems.)
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