The Best American Short Stories 1988

Mark Helprin, Editor, Shannon Ravenel, Editor Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $8.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-395-44256-2
This at times inspired anthologywhich draws from small and big-gun literary magazines in equal measuresis heralded by a sonorous, sagacious introduction that pulsates with profound love ``for language that can be as beautiful and hypnotic as song.'' Helprin is also disdainful of minimalists, revisionists who ``make literature the servant of politics,'' publishers who put out ``astonishing junk'' and ``back scratching among writers.'' C. S. Godshalk pens a piercing delineation of a boy's wrenching love-hate feelings for a mother who abandons him and a younger brother; and Gish Jen limns a charming reflection by a Chinese-American woman who is wistful for a youth when ``the world was a place that could be set right: one had only to direct the hand of the Almighty and say, just here, Lord, we hurt here.'' A husband's nightmares presage the sundering of his marriage in a vividly authentic tale by Richard Bausch; and a man's appropriation in a dream of the experiences of a Vietnam veteran propels his therapist/social worker, a vet, on a drinking jag in an exalting story by Robert Stone. (October)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
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