The Best American Short Stories 2011

Author: Heidi Pitlor (series editor), Geraldine Brooks (editor)

Type: Fiction, short stories

Published: 2011

I read it: June 2012

best stories 2011

It is hardly ever possible to give a full recommendation for an anthology, but usually the Best American series makes me want to do just that. There are always a few less-than-awesome stories per collection, but of course those may be the exact favorites of the next reader. The 2012 book offers sharp, modern stories like Tom Bissell’s “A Bridge Under Water,” about a newly married and newly unhappy couple, and Sam Lipsyte’s “The Dungeon Master” which is broadly about what you think it is about. There are conceptual stories like “The Sleep” by Caitlin Horrocks or “Phantoms” by Stephen Millhauser (think Kevin Brockmeier’s The Brief History of the Dead) and a slice from Jennifer Egan’s novel A Visit From the Goon Squad. Other notables are the quick and piercing “Dog Bites” by Ricardo Nuila and the directly heavy “Soldier of Fortune” by Bret Anthony Johnston. All in all, a solid group of stories from a series I have come to admire.

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