Book Review – Pen/O. Henry Prize Stories 2009

by thiszine

The Pen/O.Henry Prize Stories are twenty short stories from literary magazines as well established as The New Yorker to the lesser-known Grain and Five Points. It’s always risky to pick up a collection of short stories by various authors because, unlike collections by a single author, the quality across the collection isn’t guaranteed. Different writers, different styles, different ways of telling a story can mean a wildly varied hodgepodge similar to those Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Jellybeans: one handful tastes like delicious cotton candy and popcorn at first and then you realize you’re also eating the unappetizing snot and dirt beans too. Fear not: from Junot Diaz’s lingering “Wildwood,” about an immigrant’s daughter coming to terms with herself and her mother; to Andrew Sean Greer’s “Darkness,” about what is burned, and therefore lost, in a postapocalyptic world; to Marisa Silver’s “The Visitor,” about a young woman and her grandmother working to repair failed relationships, these stories are undeniably terrific from start to finish.

 

–review by Lacey Dunham

 

Read about other great books in our reviews section or submit your own!

 

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