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The thirty-three stories in this volume, selected and introduced by Tobias Wolff, prove that the American short story is as lively and robust an art form as it was in the early half of the century. Writers like Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Flannery O'Connor paved the way for many of those found in this collection. From Andre Dubus' "The Fat Girl" to Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried," from Robert Stone's "Helping" to Mona Simpson's "Lawns," each story in this collection contains a heightened world of power and moral importance, which evokes the pathos of the reader and ultimately examines, if not fortifies, the human condition. As a cumulative collection, it vivifies people and places from across the nation, and stands as a beacon of the American short story, in its varied forms over the past three decades.
Contributors and stories include:
Mary Gaitskill, "A Romantic Weekend"
Thom Jones, "A White Horse"
Andre Dubus, "The Fat Girl"
Tim O'Brien, "The Things They Carried"
Chris Offutt, "Aunt Granny Lith"
Raymond Carver, "Cathedral"
Joyce Carol Oates, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"
Robert Stone, "Helping"
Mona Simpson, "Lawns"
Ann Beattie, "A Vintage Thunderbird"
Jamaica Kincaid, "Girl"
Stuart Dybek, "Chopin in Water"
Barry Hannah, "Testimony of Pilot"
John Edgar Wideman, "Daddy Garbage"
Ron Hansen, "Wickedness"
Denis Johnson, "Emergency"
Edward P. Jones, "The First Day"
John L'Heureux, "Departures"
Ralph Lombreglia, "Men Under Water"
Leonard Michaels, "Murderers"
Robert Olmstead, "Cody's Story"
Jayne Anne Phillips, "Home"
Susan Power, "Moonwalk"
Amy Tan, "Rules of the Game"
Stephanie Vaughn, "Dog Heaven"
Joy Williams, "Train"
Dorothy Allison, "River of Names"
Richard Bausch, "All The Way in Flagstaff, Arizona"
Carol Bly, "Talk of Heroes"
Scott Bradfield, "The Darling"
Kate Braverman, "Tall Tales from the Mekong Delta"
Richard Ford, "Rock Springs"
and Allan Gurganus, "Minor Heroism."