About The Available Press/PEN Short Story Collection
A curated selection of short fiction by some of the most talented American writers at work today
There was a time when newspaper readers could round out breakfast with a slice of fiction by such well-known writers as Henry James and Mark Twain or Sarah Orne Jewett. Sometimes the newspaper introduced them to a newcomer, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald. But over the years the short story drifted into literary magazines, and as many of those publications faded into obscurity, it looked as if short fiction might go the way of the dinosaur. Now, thanks to the PEN Syndicated Fiction Project, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts Literature Program, the short story is back where it belongs—in the daily newspapers.
The eighty-three stories here were chosen in the first round of an ongoing competition by a panel of distinguished writers—Ann Beattie, Robert Stone, Anne Tyler, Russell Baker, and Kurt Vonnegut—and then submitted to a group of participating newspapers. Each paper was free to publish whichever stories it found most appropriate for its readers.
As Anne Tyler writes in her introduction: “It is astonishing that there are so many skilled and gifted writers at work in just this one country, in just this one period of time. When I finished choosing them, and packed up the stories and sent them off, it was something like sending off a crowd of house guests.”
Alice Adams was a novelist and short story writer. Born in Virginia, she graduated from Radcliffe College. She was the recipient of an Academy and Institute Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and… More about Alice Adams
Paperback | $27.00
Published by Ballantine Books Oct 12, 1985| ISBN 9780345321268