“This collection of nineteen writers illustrates less a sense of the Midwest than daring developments of plot and character, which illustrate contemporary realities…. Mostly the masterly writing stands out…. (T)his whole collection is outstanding and showcases some of the talent coming from the Midwest.“
“I wonder why The New Yorker isn't finding more stories like these, putting them in their obligatory fiction section there just before the dance and movie and TV reviews.”
The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy, and the Humanities
“Because the editors have taken the high ground of admitting (almost!) only the best recent work by writers with Midwest ties, we can readily affirm this volume’s high quality. It includes wonderful stories of high merit.”
“The nineteen writers in this anthology have … spoken for their distinct groups — their submerged populations — in stories that will delight you with their artistry, challenge you with their circumstances, entertain you with their charms, and above all, give you a sense of how complicated, flawed, ugly, and exquisite we all can be.”
From the introduction by Lee Martin
New Stories from the Midwest presents a collection of stories that celebrate an American region too often ignored in discussions about distinctive regional literature. The editors solicited nominations from more than three hundred magazines, literary journals, and small presses, and narrowed the selection to nineteen authors comprising prize winners and new and established authors.
The stories, written by midwestern writers or focusing on the Midwest, demonstrate how the quality of fiction from and about the heart of the country rivals that of any other region.
The anthology includes an introduction from Lee Martin and short fiction by emerging and established writers such as Rosellen Brown, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Christie Hodgen, Gregory Blake Smith, and Benjamin Percy.
Jason Lee Brown teaches writing at Eastern Illinois University and is a contributing editor to River Styx. He has received awards from the Illinois Arts Council, Academy of American Poets, and Illinois Press Association.
Jay Prefontaine taught writing at Eastern Illinois University for fourteen years, and his fiction received several awards, including the Writers at Work Fellowship. He died shortly after the completion of New Stories from the Midwest.
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Meredith Sue Willis’s Out of the Mountains is a collection of thirteen short stories set in contemporary Appalachia. Firmly grounded in place, the stories voyage out into the conflicting cultural identities that native Appalachians experience as they balance mainstream and mountain identities.
The beauty and barrenness of the southwestern landscape naturally lends itself to the art of storytellers. It is a land of heat and dryness, a land of spirits, a land that is misunderstood by those living along the coasts. New Stories from the Southwest presents nineteen short stories that appeared in North American periodicals between January and December 2006.
“Nan turned to see Ben’s face turn as hard and white as a sauerkraut crock. When he did not respond, Nan figured that he was just going to back off as he usually did, the shy and retiring husbandman. She did not know her history. She did not know that shy and retiring husbandmen have been known to revolt against oppression with pitchforks drawn.”
The twelve stories in The Prisoner Pear: Stories from the Lake take place in an affluent suburb of Portland, Oregon, but they could be taken from any number of similar enclaves across the United States. These stories infuse stark reality with occasional hints of magical realism to explore what the American dream means to twenty-first-century suburbanites.