In his introduction to this one hundredth volume of the beloved Best American Short Stories, guest editor T. C. Boyle writes, “The Model T gave way to the Model A and to the Ferrari and the Prius . . . modernism to postmodernism and post-postmodernism. We advance. We progress. We move on. But we are part of a tradition.” Boyle’s choices of stories reflect a vibrant range of characters, from a numb wife who feels alive only in the presence of violence to a new widower coming to terms with his sudden freedom, from a missing child to a champion speedboat racer. These stories will grab hold and surprise, which according to Boyle is “what the best fiction offers, and there was no shortage of such in this year’s selections.” Mulling over the question of character likability, series editor Heidi Pitlor asks, “Did I like these characters? I very much liked reading their stories, as did T. C. Boyle.” Here are characters who “are living, breathing people who screw up terribly and want and need and think uneasy thoughts.” T. C. BOYLE, guest editor, has published fifteen novels and ten collections of short stories. He won the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1988 for his novel World’s End and the Prix Médicis étranger for The Tortilla Curtain in 1995, as well as the 2014 Henry David Thoreau Prize for excellence in nature writing. His most recent book is the novel The Harder They Come. HEIDI PITLOR, series editor, is a former senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She is the author of the novels The Birthdays and The Daylight Marriage.
About the Author
T. C. BOYLE is the author of fourteen novels, including Drop City, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and World’s End, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award. He has also written nine short story collections. HEIDI PITLOR is the author of The Birthdays and the forthcoming novel The Daylight Marriage.
Hometown:Santa Barbara California
Date of Birth:December 2, 1948
Place of Birth:Peekskill, New York
Education:B.A. in music, State University of New York at Potsdam, 1970; Ph.D. in literature, Iowa University, 1977
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Very impactful, insightful stories. I read these kinds of books because the words get right to the plot, right to the style, right to the theme and say so many things that open my mind. So many adventures... A lonely, divorced man in a small town finds an unconventional way to welcome passion and love back into his life, a woman and boy are the only escapees of a train in a desolate countryside that is robbed and set to flames, a woman marries an inventor and discoverer and urges him to view their intimate relationship as a way to travel. T.C. Boyle does a phenomenal job picking these pieces, expertly-crafted, creative stories that stay with you a long time after they're read.