The Penguin Book of the Modern American Short Story

May 4, 2021
The Penguin Book of the Modern American Short Story

A selection of the best and most representativecontemporary American short fiction from 1970 to 2020, includingsuch authors as Ursula K. LeGuin, Toni Cade Bambara, Jhumpa Lahiri,Sandra Cisneros, and Ted Chiang, hand-selected by celebrated editorand anthologist John FreemanIn the past fifty years, the American short story has changeddramatically. New voices, forms, and mixtures of styles havebrought this unique genre a thrilling burst of energy. ThePenguin Book of the Modern American ShortStory celebrates this avalanche of talent. This rich anthology begins in 1970 and brings together a halfcentury of powerful American short stories from all genres,including—for the first time in a collection of this scale—sciencefiction, horror, and fantasy, placing writers such as Ursula K. LeGuin, Ken Liu, and Stephen King next to some beloved greats of theliterary form: Raymond Carver, Grace Paley, Chimamanda NgoziAdichie, and Denis Johnson. Culling widely, John Freeman, theformer editor of Granta and now editor of hisown literary annual, brings forward some astonishing work to beregarded in a new light. Often overlooked tales by Dorothy Allison,Percival Everett, and Charles Johnson will recast the shape andtexture of today’s enlarging atmosphere of literary dialogue.Stories by Lauren Groff and Ted Chiang raise the specter ofengagement in ecocidal times. Short tales by Tobias Wolff, GeorgeSaunders, and Lydia Davis rub shoulders with near novellas by SusanSontag and Andrew Holleran. This book will be a treasure trove forreaders, writers, and teachers alike.