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SCRIBNER'S BEST OF THE FICTION WORKSHOPS 1999 Paperback – April 13, 1999

3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Scribner's Best of the Fiction Workshops
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (April 13, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684848295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684848297
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,399,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
I love this anthology--it's filled with great stories. My favorite is "Judas Kiss" by Dika Lam. It's beautiful, innovative, and original; this series of anthologies refutes the idea that there is such a thing as a "workshop" story.
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Format: Paperback
Sherman Alexie has done an excellent job in selecting stories for what, regrettably, looks to be the last in Scribner's Best of the Fiction Workshops. Though I have at times been guilty of blasting many stories written in graduate school as being unpublishable, I rank 12 of these 19 as at least "above average," 5 of those 12 as "good," and Adam Johnson's "Death-Dealing Cassini Satellite," which begins the collection with a tale of a young bus driver's interactions with cancer patients, as truly excellent.
Alexie certainly allows the reader to take a journey throughout the literary world, as tales from Vietnam, to the Pacific Islands, to Nepal, and back to the States are presented. Along with Johnson, the University of New Hampshire proves its students are on the right track with Laura E. Miller's "Lowell's Class," concerning a poet whose struggles and successes in the field are deftly covered from workshop study to the brink of old age, as well as Clark E. Knowles's haunting tale of abduction and fear in "Little George." The other all-star short stories include Dika Lam's "Judas Kiss" and Kim Thorsen's "Alien Bodies."
Though there are a few clunkers in the mix, Alexie's decisions have been justified with SS collections published to much acclaim by Johnson, Christie Hodgen, and Samrat Upadhyay, all of whom first gained national exposure through this series, which Scribner would do itself a favor by renewing.
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By A Customer on August 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is obviously beginner fiction and it is very good by that standard; unfortunately, beginner fiction really isn't deserving of the money we pay to read it. I've been in several writing workshops at an undergraduate level (I just graduated,) and you wouldn't believe how horrible most aspiring writers are (myself included). I mean, even in the best manuscript you found uneven pacing, semi-developed characters, incoherent ramblings, and a few (and I mean a few) redeeming images. The truth is, writing is very hard. I enjoyed reading these stories to see how the writers tried to get themselves out of tight spots where they might be stuck and not know how to get from A to B or B to C (other beginning writers will know what I'm talking about.) I agree with the other reviewers that some of these stories are without substance, but I don't think it is acceptable to say that a story is bad because the characters or the author's vision is bleak. Perhaps these young writers are only being honest about what they see around them?
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By A Customer on March 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
I hate to make the first review a poor one, but Sherman Alexie appears to have been slightly off his game when he selected these. One of the stories, "Lowell's Class," is well worth reading, but the others, while they show promise on the part of the authors, are pretty uninspiring. One wonders whether these writers are tailoring their prose to please strict workshop teacher, or whether workshops simply encourage denatured, Raymond Carver-esque prose. There's a definite bias toward the misery of the young in these selections, and a couple of them are simply poor ("Amreeki" is incomprehensible, and "Judas Kiss" just plain awful.) I hope these writers discover their natural voices--I don't see much of that here.
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