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The Best Christian Short Stories Paperback – July 4, 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bret Lott's novel Jewel was a New York Times bestseller and was one of the forty-six novels chosen for the original Oprah Book Club. According to Publishers Weekly, it was the best-selling of all Oprah Book Club picks. Lott is writer-in-residence and professor of English at College of Charleston, and lives with his wife Melanie in Hanahan, South Carolina.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; X-Library - 1st edition (July 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595540776
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595540775
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,184,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bret Lott is the bestselling author of fourteen books, most recently the nonfiction collection Letters and Life: On Being a Writer, On Being a Christian (Crossway 2013) and the novel Dead Low Tide (Random House 2012). Other books include the story collection The Difference Between Women and Men, the nonfiction book Before We Get Started: A Practical Memoir of the Writer's Life, and the novels Jewel, an Oprah Book Club pick, and A Song I Knew by Heart. His work has appeared in, among other places, The Yale Review, The New York Times, The Georgia Review and in dozens of anthologies.
Born in Los Angeles, he received his BA in English from Cal State Long Beach in 1981, and his MFA in fiction from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1984, where he studied under James Baldwin. From 1986 to 2004 he was writer-in-residence and professor of English at The College of Charleston, leaving to take the position of editor and director of the journal The Southern Review at Louisiana State University. Three years later, in the fall of 2007, he returned to The College of Charleston and the job he most loves: teaching.
His honors include being named Fulbright Senior American Scholar and writer-in-residence to Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv, Israel; speaking on Flannery O'Connor at The White House; and having served as a member of the National Council on the Arts from 2006 to 2012. Currently he is nonfiction editor of the journal Crazyhorse. He and his wife, Melanie, live in Hanahan, South Carolina.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I first saw this collection of short stories, entitled The Best Christian Short Stories, my skeptical nature took hold. Smiling to myself, I figured that the "best" thing about these Christian short stories was probably, in fact, that they were short, given the abysmal state of Christian fiction, packed as it is with mimicry, stories that don't ring true, and sermonizing. That's a gross generalization, I know, and not completely fair, but it is true that when you want to read serious literature, you usually don't (sadly enough) look in a Christian bookstore. Nevertheless, given that this collection was edited by Bret Lott (Jewel), and contained a story by an acclaimed writer like Larry Woiwode, I bought the book. I'm glad I did.

As Bret Lott says in the introduction, the goal is that the collected stories "will begin to fill a gap in the world of fiction: that between popular Christian writing and that of literary art." It's an intriguing goal and one largely met by the eleven stories that follow.

While the most literary and "high-brow" of the stories is "Firstborn," by Larry Woiwode, it would be a mistake to think that this literary art is anything but accessible to ordinary readers, and yet, it is not simplistic or didactic in approach but nuanced and thought-provoking. I was captivated right away by Mary Kenagy's "Loud Lake," about Pete, the son of a father who runs a Christian camp, who, while not unappreciative of his upbringing, has to find his own way, his own path of faith. It's remarkable what cynics we moderns are: for much of the story I kept waiting for Pete to leave the fold, or for the father to turn out to be a hypocrite of some sort, and yet, while their humanness was on display, they were, in the end, people of faith.
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Format: Paperback
I've been looking for a book of short stories that weren't over run with sexual or dark themes, yet a set of stories that didn't fall prey to the whitewashed, everthing-works-out-in-the-end view that is often found in Christian writing. This book fits the bill greatly! Very driven by characters instead of story (Literary Fiction) these stories present a slice of life, not a resulution, to the situations they present...and in that manner they come off as very genuine, complex and heartfelt. Great book!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The stories were generally good and thought provoking, but the actual mechanical writing in a few was arduous to follow. This is still a very good book for aspiring writers to see the work of others, and to experience the prose of those who may not be as celebrated or acclaimed.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book to Christian hospice patients and I believe the book is filled with deep messages of hope and contentment with our mortal lives. It is exactly what I was looking for.
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