Summer Reading #2

Browsing in an airport bookstore between flights, I bought a copy of The Best American Short Stories 2009. Describing the challenges and pleasures of selecting just twenty stories from more than 200 originally published by American and Canadian periodicals, Editor Alice Sebold says, “Was the judging process scientific? Not in the least. Does this volume include stories that every writer – being honest – would give his or her eyeteeth to have written? You bet.”
          And, Ms. Sebold was right. I was so captivated that the jolt of aircraft wheels meeting runway came as a mid-story surprise.
          After finishing each story, I read the author’s profile and personal statement, discretely tucked into the back of the book. There I learned that among the well-known and much-published, writing professors and recipients of numerous distinguished writing awards, are Steve De Jarnatt and Namwali Serpell whose first published short stories made the cut for this volume. What a glimpse of possibility for all writers!

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