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20 Under 40: Stories From The New Yorker (2010)

20 Under 40: Stories from The New Yorker (2010)
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3.76 of 5 Votes: 2
ISBN
0374532877 (ISBN13: 9780374532871)
languge
English
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publisher
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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20 Under 40: Stories From The New Yor...
20 Under 40: Stories From The New Yorker (2010)

About book: People are always going to quibble over the choices of whom to include in an anthology of this sort, but overall I think the New Yorker editors and Deborah Treisman in particular did a great job with their selections. I'm somewhat surprised Nam Le isn't on the list, but his exclusion doesn't diminish the collection's value. As I read, I reminded myself that this was not a best-of set; these are not necessarily the writers' strongest stories but are instead an introduction to their work. One would hope these authors' best fiction lies ahead of them. As Treisman alludes to in the introduction, these pieces may have simply been those available at the time the anthology was assembled. (Take Wells Tower, for instance, whose story "The Landlord" is good but doesn't seem as rich in its language or as nuanced as the stories in his collection "Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned.") That said, there are some amazing stories here. Chris Adrian continues to mine the themes of children and religion with wonderful results. Joshua Ferris seems determined to be labeled a novelist, understandably, but he's also an incredible story writer. In his story here, "The Pilot," as well as in another story published by the New Yorker, "The Dinner Party," he takes characters in crisis mode and thrusts them into social situations; the resulting awkwardness creates a palpable tension in the stories. The standout pieces in this collection appear to be those that thrive on detail and character to evoke a specific time and place: "What You Do Out Here, When You're Alone," by Philipp Meyer; "Blue Water Djinn," by Tea Obreht; "Dayward," by ZZ Packer; "The Dredgeman's Revelation," by Karen Russell; and "The Kid," by Salvatore Scibona. These are the stories that form the heart of the collection. Interestingly, each of them centers on a child or adolescent. The writers sense the vulnerability of children, their innocence, the lengths we go to to protect them (Packer) or the repercussions of abandoning them (Scibona). Overall, a collection well worth reading, but I would urge you to approach it as a Whitman's sampler of style and themes, not as a greatest hits collection. This was definitely the best short story collection I read anthologizing 2011. I was impressed by the consistency of quality across all of the stories - each of them was sophisticated, nuanced, each of the authors wrote with a confident voice. Overall, each of the stories was a good read. Still, however, there were no great standouts for me. No firecrackers, no stealth bombers. Nothing like "Diary of an Interesting Year" by Helen Simpson.But, overall, very consistent, very satisfying.I particularly liked the sketch of literary pontillism by Jonathan Safan Foer and the creepiness of Chris Adrian in the Warm Fuzzies.All of the exotic, foreign stories were actually well told stories (not just included for the sake of their exoticness.)
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Reviews
Ummi
So far, my favorites are Chimamanda, ZZ Packer and David Bezmozgis.
morrisonml
For work. Some quite good. Some quite not. Short stories, you know?
wee_bee
Amazing display of talent in one book. Loved it....
mishal
collections are good. 22!double double chex chex
Princess
Enjoying it.
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