The Best American Short Stories 2016

  • 2016, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • 9780544582750
  • Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle
  • Read an excerpt
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Guest Editor Junot Díaz

If the novel is our culture's favored literary form, upon which we heap all our desiccated literary laurels, if the novel is, say our Jaime Lannister, then the short story is our very own Tyrion: the disdained little brother, the perennial underdog. But what an underdog, writes Junot Díaz in his introduction to The Best American Short Stories 2016.

From a Nigerian boy's friendship with his family's former houseboy to a sweatshop girl's experience as a sister wife, from love and murder on the frontier to a meltdown in the academe, these stories, for Díaz, have the economy and power to break hearts bones vanities and cages.

Ten years into her role as series editor, Heidi Pitlor confides, "A great pleasure of my job is the rush that comes with discovery...I'm reading a new story and not checking how long it is or what time I have to pick up the kids. I'm reading and feeling and thinking, and, if I'm lucky, laughing, too. I'm not working at all. A great story has that power: it removes you from your life. It lifts you away from a while. Junot Díaz and I found much to discover this year."

Pulitzer Prize–winner Junot Díaz's first book, Drown, established him as a major new writer with "the dispassionate eye of a journalist and the tongue of a poet" (Newsweek). His first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, was named #1 Fiction Book of the Year by Time magazine and spent more than one hundred weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, establishing itself—with more than a million copies in print—as a modern classic. In addition to the Pulitzer, Díaz has won a host of major awards and prizes, including the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Malamud Award, the PEN/O. Henry Prize, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the Anisfield-Wolf Award.