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PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2009 Paperback – May 5, 2009
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“Widely regarded as the nation's most prestigious awards for short fiction.”
—The Atlantic Monthly
“The annual O. Henry Prize Stories provide a barometer of contemporary emotional and political concerns.... Stories that refract our present world.”
—Los Angeles Times
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Top Customer Reviews
Different stories will appeal to different people for different reasons. Here are the stories that appealed most to me:
-- Graham Joyce's "An Ordinary Soldier of the Queen": surprisingly, I agree with two of the three prize jurists, who selected this story as the best in the collection. It hooks and keeps the reader's interest, works on several levels, and progresses at an even pace from well-grounded reality into schizophrenic madness. It's not quite an all-time classic story, but definitely worth reading.
-- Paul Theroux's "Twenty-two Stories": just as the name would suggest, this short story consists of twenty-two roughly one page stories, each of which presents the germ of an idea that an author could elaborate and build upon to create a traditional length short story. The very interesting thing is how well each of these microscopic stories works on a stand-alone basis - think of them as highly concentrated, distilled stories, such as might be told around a campfire.
-- Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum's "The Nursery": a well-disguised horror story about a mother's suffocating love, and how her attempts at protection backfire.Read more ›
The PEN/O.Henry Prize Stories, 2009
Furman, Laura (Editor) May 2009. 464 p. Anchor, paperback, $15.00. (978030780350).
The 90th anniversary edition of this prestigious collection is a must-read for both aspiring writers and devoted short story readers. Selected from among short stories originally written in English and published in an American or Canadian periodical during the past year, this year's prizewinners reflect the increasingly robust, diverse, and international flavor of the genre in general. While familiar literary stalwarts like Paul Theroux ("Twenty-two Stories"), Nadine Gordimer ("A Beneficiary"), Graham Joyce (An Ordinary Soldier of the Queen"), and John Burnside ("The Bell Ringer") are included, the collection is distinguished, as always, by an array of fresh-voiced newcomers such as Caitlin Horrocks ("This Is Not Your City"), L.E. Miller ("Kind"), Manuel Munoz ("Tell Him about Brother John"),and Mohan Sikka ("Uncle Musto Takes a Mistress"). Most illuminating are the authors' own reflections on their stories and incisive essays by jurors A.S. Byatt, Anthony Doerr, and Tim O'Brien on their favorites.
KIRKUS REVIEW (March 15, 2009)
Furman, Laura-Ed.THE PEN/O. HENRY PRIZE STORIES 2009
The 90th-anniversary edition of the annual prize awarded in recognition of short stories published in the United States and Canada.Time was, and not so long ago, that the story writers had to be American or Canadian, but the prize has since opened to those writing in English elsewhere.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have been reading short stories since middle school and that means close to 40 year. So I obviously enjoy them. Read morePublished on September 19, 2009 by George B
Twenty works of fiction, not one of which disappoints, including "Twenty-two [very short] Stories" by my favorite author, Paul Theroux. Read morePublished on August 17, 2009 by J. A. Bell