cover image Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, 1987-88

Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, 1987-88

. Pushcart Press, $28 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-916366-45-2

With this 12th edition, the Carey-Thomas Award-winning sampling of small presses and little magazines continues to uphold its reputation as a provocative forum for contemporary writing. The eclectic, experimental 1987-88 omnibus is conspicuously mournful and self-reflecting although the applications are universal. The first-person narrator of Gordon Lish's ""Mr. Goldbaum'' details his father's funeral and interment, and the deadening apathy of the survivors. A Chinese immigrant couple's discontented, discordant union is contemplated by their American daughters in ``A Red Sweater'' by Fae Myenne Ng. C. K. Williams's grief for the untimely loss of fellow-poet Paul Zweig is palpable in ``Le Petit Salvie,'' and a Native American fathoms his own painful, irreversible demise in Paul West's inventive story ``The Place in Flowers Where Pollen Rests.'' In a quest for self-realization and independence, a woman destroys a long-standing friendship in Rosellen Brown's ``One of Two.'' A few extrospective selections balance the anthology, including William H. Gass's insightful ``Some Snapshots from the Soviet Union,'' an account of a tense Soviet-American writers' conference. Paperback to Penguin. (September 19)