The Penguin Book of the Modern American Short Story

John Freeman, editor
Published in 2021
by Penguin Press

In this anthology, a half century of American short stories from all genres, including science fiction, horror, and fantasy, are presented and selected by editor and critic John Freeman. Spanning from 1970 to 2020, a variety of voices, forms, and styles are highlighted, as well as often overlooked stories from renowned authors such as Dorothy Allison, Percival Everett, and Charles Johnson. There are short tales by Tobias Wolff, George Saunders, and Lydia Davis, next to near novellas by Susan Sontag and Andrew Holleran. The wide-ranging collection also includes stories by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Raymond Carver, Denis Johnson, Stephen King, Ursula K. Le Guin, Ken Liu, and Claire Vaye Watkins. “This anthology, though it tracks the high points of the short story, is enabled by spaces these writers opened up,” writes Freeman in the introduction, noting the significant mark these authors have made for the future of the short story. 

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Author: jkashiwabara

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  • January 24, 2024