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New Sudden Fiction: Short-Short Stories from America and Beyond Paperback – January 17, 2007
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“It can do in a page what a novel does in two hundred.” (Mark Strand)
About the Author
James Thomas has received two NEA grants and a Stegner Fellowship; he lives in Xenia, Ohio.
Top Customer Reviews
From there, Shapard & Thomas sparked the Sudden Fiction anthology series and even did spots of the Flash Fiction anthology series, together or separately. This volume is the most recent installment, and it follows the method of the others--stories that tend to fall in the range of 2,000 words or lower, and familiar names (Tobias Wolff, Sam Shephard, Joyce Carol Oates, etc.) standing next to names that are not as familiar, due either to neglect in the whorls of the literary administration or to the general low quality of their work.
Of course, any anthology is going to have its hits and misses, and this one is no exception. Aimee Bender is a nice turn in the road, since all the stories before hers seem to have a definite realist tendency, and hers is the first to explore the realm of the surreal, and does so quite powerfully.Read more ›
What is slightly disappointing about this collection is that the quality (for this reviewer) is a bit uneven. While all the stories are of rather similar lengths (3 to 5 pages for the most part), some simply go nowhere, reflecting on a moment or character in detail and arriving at very little in the way of stimulating conclusions. Others, such as Tobias Wolfe's or Sam Shepard's (two of the best in the bunch), nicely portray real conflicts, draw very real characters, and maintain forceful narratives throughout, with endings that satisfy.
If you enjoy short fiction, this is certainly worth reading, then perhaps selling back if you find only a little that you like (I'll probably keep my copy, as I think I like the parts I like enough to want to read them again later on). If you're trying to get into what's going on in contemporary short(-short) fiction, there is no better place to start. Author bios in the back will give you other book titles and such as launching points for further reading as well.
This was an excellent collection to dive back in with, as most every story hit me in some way.
The preface discusses how this length and form just seems to "work," as many shorter stories can feel too incomplete or ambiguous, and longer works can start to get bogged down. However, this length of story packs a hell of a punch, and many of these stories are perfect examples of that punch.
What I liked best, though, is the range of when these were written. I had originally assumed that all were recent stories. However, upon checking out the contributor's notes, I saw how many had copyright dates decades ago. I never would have guessed. These writer's have all done what we should strive to: they touch on something that resonates throughout the years and contexts.
That, to me, makes this more than worth the read, and--even more--makes this collection one to study, if you want to learn the short form.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was required for a lit. class Im taking. I love this book! It has SO MANY great stories that you can really analize and discover. I highly recommend it to anyone!Published on February 15, 2014 by Steffeni Hakes
The recipient writes fiction and had asked for the item on a wish list. He was most pleased and I assume it was of the quality that he expected.Published on January 16, 2014 by Jasndal
it was on time and in the condition as described, thank you for this great product i appreciate it a lotPublished on September 9, 2013 by Katie
People go nuts over "literary" fiction and convince me to pick up books like this. Sure, one or two stories in this are good, but nothing to pack a mental bag and go off to... Read morePublished on June 25, 2013 by TinCanGoat
I thought it was brand new until I started reading it--there are just a few words of notes in the margins every thirty pages or so!Published on March 19, 2013 by SamWythe3rd
There are some redeeming tales, but mostly uninspired, poorly edited, and in far too many instances, poorly written. Read morePublished on March 30, 2012 by Hunkstrum