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100 Years of the Best American Short Stories, Lorrie Moore


It was interesting to see how in the 1990s there was a return to straight realism in literary fiction. Perhaps it was the response to the anti-realism of the late 60s and 70s, the minimalism of the 80s. I enjoyed how the stories that were chosen from the thousands and thousands out there displayed experimentation, nudging the boundaries of form… as if they are willing to try anything once. I read one from the 20s – Hemingway’s ‘My Old Man’, Faulkner’s ‘That Will Be Fine’ from 1936, but skipped ahead to the 1960’s to present for the meat of it. The 60s exploration of the hidden complexities of the 1950 happy family; the frankness about sex in the 70s, though definitely the ‘me decade’; the 2000s bringing with it stories directly or indirectly addressing the attacks of 9/11, the irony and outrage of the wars and the economic collapse of , exploration of the immigrant experience in the U.S.. A long read all the way through (over 700 pages) … great for breaks in your day where a short story is just short enough to finish, but not too long where it can occupy your time for hours forgetting to feed the dog, make dinner, or forget about the errands you have to do for the day.

©2020 by Sean Burch