- Paperback: 640 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial; Paperback Original edition (September 17, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060982020
- ISBN-13: 978-0060982027
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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You've Got to Read This: Contemporary American Writers Introduce Stories that Held Them in Awe Paperback – September 17, 1994
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
From Library Journal
Thirty-five well-known authors introduce their favorite stories in this treasure trove of short fiction. For the reader this is a double delight. The introductions clarify the stories and provide rare insights into the minds of writers and the ways in which they read literature. Many of the stories are classics like "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens and "The Dead" by James Joyce. Others are not as famous: Edward P. Jones introduces "The Flowers," Alice Walker's story encompassing both the loss of childhood and the oppression of a race. Amy Tan tells the reader why "Pie Dance" by Molly Giles is a perfectly crafted story. For Francine Prose, Isaac Babel has created a masterpiece of art in "Guy de Maupassant," while T. Coraghessan Boyle's favorite story is Donald Barthelme's "The School." A list of biographies of the authors completes the volume. Recommended for general collections.
Stephanie Furtsch, Purchase Free Lib., N.Y.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Writers are passionate readers because literature is an ongoing dialogue. And you can learn a lot about writers by knowing what they love to read. Editors Hansen and Shepard decided to ask some of their favorite American writers to identify stories that fell into their you've-got-to-read-this category. The end result is an anthology of terrific tales introduced by essays that open windows onto the creative process of 35 top fiction writers. Each story is introduced by the writer who was inspired, intimidated, or moved to extreme emotion on reading it. Here's some examples: John Irving chose "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens; Mary Gordon selected "The Dead" by James Joyce; Oscar Hijuelos acknowledged his debt to Jorge Luis Borges' "The Aleph"; Lorrie Moore was stunned by John Updike's "Packed Dirt, Churchgoing, a Dying Cat, a Traded Car"; Joyce Carol Oates picked Kafka's unforgettable "In the Penal Colony"; and Louise Erdrich couldn't get over Robert Stone's "Helping." This is almost a two-for-one deal for story-lovers: a glimpse into the reading minds of one set of popular and talented authors, together with a selection of outstanding stories by their mentors and peers. Donna Seaman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Of the 35 stories, I was familiar with 21 of the authors, though I had previously read only a couple of the stories. Of the selectors/introducers, I had only heard of a dozen.
Dead white males do not seem to dominate this volume. If anything, there are a few too many chick stories that have no action beyond moving lips and go on interminably about feelings and relationships. Thankfully, the polar opposites are not represented here. (Those would be pure action stories peopled by brainless, unreflective stick men.) Happily, there are quite a few tales by the best who can strike a balance. Leo Tolstoy did this better than anybody and he does have an entry.
I will not further bore you with my favorites. Everybody takes up stories in their own way. Interestingly, I remember almost none of the introducers praise or criticism. But, collectively they pulled it off- this is a great anthology.
Doris Barbara Imrie
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I still believe that the purpose of a short story is to tell a story. To entertain and illuminate. Most of these stories are exercises in the wonderful use of language and have... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Richard A. Herman
like having all these great stories in one place. Reading stories from this for a short story class I am takingPublished 20 months ago by Phyllis Slutsky
I am required to read some of this book for a class, but so far I have enjoyed that it is a collection of interesting stories.Published on April 27, 2014 by Mark T Johnson
Buying it used I expected a few notes in the margins. There are really only 2 small notes on the title page. No rips or tears and and prompt shipping! Fantastic!Published on August 29, 2013 by Sadie Williams
Incredible selection of stories. Highly recommended.
Full of classic stories and some you may never have heard of which are wonderful.
A collection of short stories that have been selected and are introduced by different writers. It contains a wide range of authors and very diverse stories, varying from what I... Read morePublished on February 25, 2006 by Thomas L. Jenkins