cover image THE PUSHCART PRIZE 2005 XXIX


, . . Pushcart, $35 (550pp) ISBN 978-1-888889-39-0

Henderson is right on the mark when he writes in his introduction that it has been a "vintage year" for this annual celebration of small magazines and presses—institutions that are anything but diminutive in their commitment to the art of the written word. From China to Greece, from India to Italy, this year's collection offers original, pithy commentary on everything from globalization and terrorism to relationships and family values in short works of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. In Deb Olin Unferth's "Juan the Cell Phone Salesman," a mother sets her daughter up with a man who turns out to be a rather unsavory character. In Jack Herlihy's "The Core," a young boy faces and embraces death along with his funeral-obsessed father. Russell Working's "The Irish Martyr" and Elizabeth Kadetsky's "The Poison that Purifies You" both grapple with issues of terrorism, the latter detailing the story of a man living in Delhi who is kidnapped by Kashmiri rebels in an eerily nonchalant manner. Chockfull of short works that make big statements and suit just about any mood, this 29th anniversary edition proves once again that size doesn't matter. (Jan.)

Forecast: The Pushcart Prize's ability to pick winners was recently corroborated again when Edward P. Jones's The Known World won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Jones's first published fiction was the lead entry in Pushcart Prize XVIII.