LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
I love this book beyond any anthology of short stories I've read, and a lot of that is the concept, and not just the content. Point of view makes such a big difference in fiction. I've loved playing with it in my (decidedly amateur) fiction and I love to read stories that play with it--I've been known to read entire novels written in second person ("you")--though that rare point of view isn't included here. There are 44 short stories here, from less than two thousand to over 10,000 words. The points of views represented are: Interior Monologue, Dramatic Monologue, Letter Narration, Diary Narration, Subjective Narration, Detached Autobiography, Observer Narration, Anonymous Narration (Single, Double, Multiple, Objective). The authors in the edition I own include Dorothy Parker, Tillie Olsen, Katherine Mansfield, Joyce Carol Oates, Henry James, Ambrose Bierce, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, V.S. Naipual, Lorrie Moore, Truman Capote, Langston Hughes, John Updike, Frank O'Connor, Ralph Ellison, Amy Tan, Louise Erdrich, Raymond Carver, James Baldwin, Alice Walker, Margaret Atwood, Shirley Jackson, Eudora Welty among others. Not the same as one in a review naming Dostoevksy, Gogol, Turgenev, Crane, Malamud, Porter, Bellow. So this exists in several editions, and can't be taken as a "best" of the short story (otherwise where is Cather, Chekhov, Hawthorne, Joyce, de Maupassant, O Henry, Poe, Saki, Twain?) but it is a very strong collection. I was impressed by the earlier edition assigned me in high school, and this one holds up well too. Both as best I can remember carry Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery"--among the most memorable and powerful short stories I've ever read.