In his introduction to this one hundredth volume of the beloved Best American Short Stories, guest editor T. C. Boyle writes, “The Model T gave way to the Model A and to the Ferrari and the Prius . . . modernism to postmodernism and post-postmodernism. We advance. We progress. We move on. But we are part of a tradition.”
Boyle’s choices of stories reflect a vibrant range of characters, from a numb wife who feels alive only in the presence of violence to a new widower coming to terms with his sudden freedom, from a missing child to a champion speedboat racer. These stories will grab hold and surprise, which according to Boyle is “what the best fiction offers, and there was no shortage of such in this year’s selections.”
Mulling over the question of character likability, series editor Heidi Pitlor asks, “Did I like these characters? I very much liked reading their stories, as did T. C. Boyle.” Here are characters who “are living, breathing people who screw up terribly and want and need and think uneasy thoughts.”
“Writing an essay is like catching a wave,” posits guest editor Ariel Levy. “To catch a wave, you need skill and nerve, not just moving water.” This year’s writers are certainly full of nerve, and have crafted a wide range of pieces awash in a diversity of moods, voices, and stances.
Leaving an abusive marriage, parting with a younger self, losing your sanity to Fitbit, and even saying goodbye to a beloved pair of pants imbued with meaning are all unified by the daring of their creation. As Levy notes, “Writing around an idea you think is worthwhile—an idea you suspect is an insight—requires real audacity.”
The Best American Essays 2015 includes:
Hilton Als, Roger Angell, Justin Cronin, Meghan Daum, Anthony Doerr, Margo Jefferson, David Sedaris, Zadie Smith, Rebecca Solnit and others
In his introduction, guest editor James Patterson observes, “I often hear people lamenting the state of Hollywood . . . If that’s the case, I’ve got one thing to say: read these short stories. You can thank me later.” Patterson has collected a batch of stories that have the sharp tension, drama, and visceral emotion of an Oscar-worthy Hollywood production.
Spanning the extremes of human behavior, The Best American Mystery Stories 2015 features characters that must make desperate choices: an imaginative bank-robbing couple, a vengeful high school shooter, a lovesick heiress who will do anything for her man, and many others in “these imaginative, rich, complex tales” worthy of big-screen treatment.
The Best American Mystery Stories 2015 includes:
Tomiko M. Breland, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Jeffery Deaver, Brendan DuBois,
Janette Turner Hospital, Dennis Lehane, Theresa E. Lehr, Joyce Carol Oates, and others
The latest addition to the acclaimed series showcasing the best sports writing from the past year
For twenty-five years, The Best American Sports Writing has built a solid reputation by showcasing the greatest sports journalism of the past year, culled from hundreds of national, regional, and specialty print and digital publications.
Wright Thompson, a senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN: The Magazine, proves more than up to the task by curating this truly exceptional collection.
The only shared trait among all these diverse stories is the extraordinarily high caliber of writing, but collectively they tap into the pure passion that can only come from sports.
The next edition in a series praised as “undeniably exquisite” (Maria Popova), The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2015 includes work from both award-winning writers and up-and-coming voices in the field.
From Brooke Jarvis on deep-ocean mining to Elizabeth Kolbert on New Zealand’s unconventional conservation strategies, this is a group that celebrates the growing diversity in science and nature writing alike.
Altogether, the writers honored in this year’s volume challenge us to consider the strains facing our planet and its many species, while never losing sight of the wonders we’re working to preserve for generations to come.
The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2015 includes:
Sheri Fink, Atul Gawande, Leslie Jamison, Sam Kean, Seth Mnookin, Matthew Power, Michael Specter and others
“Lively, eclectic and surprising.” — Minneapolis Star Tribune
For the past year, a group of high school students met at a publishing house in San Francisco every Monday night to read literary magazines, chapbooks, graphic novels, and countless articles. This committee was assisted by a group of students that met in the basement of a robot shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Together, and under the guidance of guest editor Adam Johnson, these high schoolers selected the contents of The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2015. The writing in this book is very essential, if not required, like visiting the Louvre if you’re in Paris. In any case, nothing in this book takes place in Paris, as far as we can recall, but it does feature an elephant hunt, the fall of a reality-TV star, a walk through Ethiopia, and much more of what Johnson calls “the most important examinations in life.”
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2015 includes:
LESLEY NNEKA ARIMAH, DANIEL ALARCÓN, BOX BROWN, REBECCA CURTIS, VICTOR LODATO, CLAUDIA RANKINE, PAUL SALOPEK, PAUL TOUGH, WELLS TOWER and others