Prize Stories 1988: The O. Henry Awards

William Miller Abrahams, Editor Doubleday Books $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-385-24183-0
The 68th volume in this prestigious annual literary series is a testament to the vitality of the American short story in the 20th century. As noted in the introduction, it is fitting that this year's first-prize winner, Raymond Carver's ""Errand,'' pays homage to Chekhov, the great master of the story. Carver recreates in colorful verisimilitude the last night of Chekhov's life, imagining that event marked with champagne served by an awed young waiter in the hotel suite Chekhov shares with his actress wife. The final story is John Updike's ``Leaf Season,'' replete with that writer's characteristic attention to physicality, to female lineaments and to the emotional undercurrents that flow when several couples, and their children, have an off-season weekend reunion in a Vermont house. Elizabeth Spencer's ``The Business Venture'' and Joy Williams's ``Rot'' evoke, in their different ways, the singularity of Southern lifestyle. Prominent contributors, e.g., Joyce Carol Oates (``Yarrow'') and Shirley Hazzard (``The Place to Be''), share space with such relatively new voices as Jane Smiley (``Long Distance'') and Jonathan Baumbach (``The Dinner Party''); and there are four authors whose stories here are their first published works. (April)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1988
Release date: 03/01/1988
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-385-24184-7
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