Every year – beginning in 1915 and continuing for the last 106 years – a new edition of The Best American Short Stories arrives in bookstores and libraries. Currently published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the editor of the series asks a distinguished American author to read 100+ stories published in literary magazines and major periodicals during the preceding year. The writer chooses his/her 20 favorites and also contributes an introduction to the anthology. Contemporary guest editors have included everyone from Stephen King and Curtis Sittenfeld to Elizabeth Strout and Tom Perotta. In this course, we’ll read and discuss the stories in the 2021 edition with the aim of discovering what they have in common and what they say about life in America in the 21st century. We’ll also debate what “the best” really means! A great introduction to contemporary American short stories.
Read: The Best American Short Stories 2021