Pushcart Prize XLVI: Best of the Small Presses

Edited by Bill Henderson. Pushcart Press, $35 (576p) ISBN 978-0-9600977-4-6
The enjoyable latest entry in the annual anthology showcases works that originally appeared in literary journals that, in Henderson’s estimation, thrive despite their lack of funding (“We are locked out of the money apparatus and have emerged free”). In Kevin Wilson’s poignant story “Biology,” a man mourns the death of his eighth-grade science teacher and reflects on when he was a loner who found refuge in the eccentric teacher’s classroom. Daniel Orozco’s well-crafted “Leave No Trace” follows Rutger, who, at six, receives cryptic advice from his alcoholic father: “Be invisible. Be smoke. Be a ghost. Leave. No. Trace.” As a result of heeding the guidance, Rutger manages to be “adequate” at just about everything over the course of his life. In a touching and humorous poem by Red Hawk, “The Holy Spirit of the Moon,” a Native elder asks the Apollo 11 astronauts to deliver a message to the gods on the moon. The hilarious and quirky story “Housekeeping” by Karin-Lin Greenberg revolves around the suicide of a TV actor in a small town, where a hotel maid finds the body and becomes an instant celebrity. There are many emerging voices worthy of discovery, and their work here is a consistent delight. (Dec.)
Reviewed on : 10/15/2021
Release date: 12/07/2021
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 576 pages - 978-0-9600977-5-3
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