Bestselling novelist and acclaimed teacher Sue Miller continues the tradition of identifying the best young writers on the cusp of their careers in this year’s volume of Best New American Voices. Here are stories culled from hundreds of writing programs like the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Johns Hopkins and from summer confer- ences like Sewanee and Bread Loaf as well as a complete list of contact information for these programs. This collection showcases tomorrow’s literary stars: Julie Orringer, Adam Johnson, William Gay, David Benioff, Rattawut Lapcharoensap, Maile Meloy, Amanda Davis, Jennifer Vanderbes, and John Murray are just some of the acclaimed authors whose early work has appeared in this series since its launch in 2000. The best new American voices are heard here first.
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John Kulka is executive editor-at-large at Harvard University Press and lives in Connecticut.
Natalie Danford is a freelance writer and book critic whose work has appeared in People, Salon, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Sun-Times, and many other publications. She is the author of a novel, Inheritance, and lives in New York City.
In her introduction to the latest volume in this vibrant annual short story collection, best-selling novelist Sue Miller states that the American story "has become multifarious, stranger, richer." It has been argued that academic workshops make for processed stories, but Miller, herself a seasoned writing teacher, offers irrefutable evidence to the contrary. The 15 stories she has selected are robust, nervy, and distinctive. Lydia Peelle, still in her twenties, writes convincingly from the point of view of a stroke survivor in his sixties watching the wildlife-lush Tennessee land he loves disappear under the assault of developers. Fatima Rashid writes of a Pakistani man who years ago fled to America after the death of his sister, and who now, married with children, is being deported. Keya Mitra writes of a divorced mother in Houston learning of her mother's death in Calcutta. Caimeen Garrett creates an unusual historical tale out of letters exchanged about a missing boy in 1876. Polished yet spirited, inventive and entrancing, these vital tales are bright spots on the literary front. Donna Seaman
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