Monday, October 4, 2010

hurry, hurry, hurry!

Scariest Films Ever are coming. Soon. But for now:

The Oxford Book of American Short Stories, edited by Joyce Carol Oates.

I'm making this short.

If you are at all curious about short stories and don't know where to start, start here. The Heath Anthology is also very good, but it's extremely long and quite heavy. This book is the perfect size and in it dwells the perfect collection of short stories. I don't think there was one included that I didn't like. . .

We are talking about Washington Irving, William Austin, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Edgar Allen Poe, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Samuel Clemens, Sarah Orne Jewett, Kate Chopin, Charles Chestnut, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Henry James, Jack London, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, Stephen Crane, Edith Wharton, Sherwood Anderson, Willa Cather, Jean Toomer, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Carlos Williams, Katherine Anne Porter, William Faulkner, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Paul Bowles, Flannery O'Connor, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Ray Bradbury, Peter Taylor, Eudora Welty, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Bernard Malamud, Saul Bellows, John Cheever, Ursula K. Le Guin, Donald Barthelme, John Updike, Alice Adams, Raymond Carver, Leslie Marmon Silko, Cynthia Ozick, Joyce Carol Oates, Tobias Wolff, Tim O'Brien, Bobbie Ann Mason, John Edgar Wideman, Bharati Mukherjee, Amy Tan, Louise Erdrich, David Leavitt, Sandra Cisneros, and Pinckney Benedict.

Quite a guest list.

And while my personal favorites were the stories with just a hint of fantastic or madness ("Cannibalism in the Car" by Clemens, "A Late Encounter With the Enemy" by O'Connor, "There Will Come Soft Rains" by Bradbury, or "Fleur" by Erdrich) each story in this collection packs a punch or makes it count, if you will.

I want more.