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William Miller Abrahams (1909–1998)

Forfatter af The Unknown Orwell

48+ Works 1,119 Members 7 Reviews

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Værker af William Miller Abrahams

The Unknown Orwell (1972) 86 eksemplarer
Orwell, the Transformation (1979) 69 eksemplarer
American Short Stories [Folio Society] (1900) — Introduktion — 54 eksemplarer
Prize Stories from the Seventies (1981) 43 eksemplarer
Prize Stories 1971: The O. Henry Awards (1971) — Redaktør — 4 eksemplarer
Children of Capricorn 3 eksemplarer
Las mejores historias cortas (1981) 1 eksemplar
Prize stories 1 eksemplar
Imperial Waltz (1956) 1 eksemplar
The Heart Unguarded (2000) 1 eksemplar

Associated Works

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Kanonisk navn
Abrahams, William Miller
Stansky, Peter (domestic partner)



One would think that short stories said to be contenders for the "O Henry Awards" would have been collected and judged by a committee of writers and critics. In this case, one would be wrong. Editor William Abrahams makes these judgements on his own, and the so-called "O Henry Awards" have no official status. Abrahams has been publishing book collections annually, proclaiming the "prize stories" of the year ever since 1967. They represent his opinions alone.

That may explain my reaction to this collection, since I did not find most of the stories worthy of any particular note. They certainly did not rank with the best stories I've read over the years.

I found one stand-out in the collection of 21 stories, that being Elizabeth Oneness' "The Oracle". Four others were also worthy of note, those being "Landing Zone X-ray" (by Thomas Kennedy), "Marine Corps Issue" (by David McLean, "Games" (by Terry Baine), and "Terrific Mother" (by Lorrie Moore). The first and second prize winners I judged as only 1* and 2* on a five star scale. Tastes differ, no doubt.

Listed below are the 21 stories included, along with their authors and my ratings (on a 5* scale).

Alison Baker “Better Be Ready ‘Bout Half Past Eight” (first prize) (1*)
John Rolfe Gardiner “The Voyage Out” (second prize) (2*)
Lorrie Moore “Terrific Mother” (third prize) (3*)
Stuart Dybek “We Didn’t” (2*)
Marlin Barton “Jeremiah’s Road” (2*)
Kelly Cherry “Not the Phil Donahue Show” (1*)
Elizabeth Cox “The Third of July” (2*)
Terry Bain “Games” (3*)
Amy Bloom “Semper Fidelis” (3*)
Michael Fox “Rise and Shine” (1*)
David McLean “Marine Corps Issue” (3*)
Elizabeth Graver “The Boy Who Fell Forty Feet” (1*)
Susan Starr Richards “The Hanging in the Foaling Barn” (1*)
Janice Eidus “Pandora’s Box” (1*)
Judith Ortiz Cofer “Nada”
Mary Tannen “Elaine’s House”
Dennis Trudell “Gook” (2*)
Helen Fremont “Where She Was” (1*)
Elizabeth Oness “The Oracle” (4*)
Katherine L. Hester “Labor”
Thomas E. Kennedy “Landing Zone X-Ray” (3*)
… (mere)
1 stem
danielx | Oct 6, 2022 |
This is why it's tough to review collections. The first story "Rosa" was fantastic and worth getting the book for. Another story toward the end, "The Love Child" was pretty good. Everything else was nothing to me.

Most of these pieces were not short stories as I define it. They were setups, introductions, writing exercises, author masturbation, but not stories. Here's how most of them went; Tell me a bunch of character names, where they live, what they like and dislike, who's secretly in love with who. Then tell me about how they sat around thinking about their lives. The End. That's not a story. That's what you do when you want to write but you don't have any ideas. It's masturbation and you should keep it to yourself.

Many seemed like they could have been written by the same person. There was no voice, or reason for writing them, as far as I could tell.
… (mere)
bongo_x | Apr 6, 2013 |
mahallett | Jul 12, 2011 |
provinceoftheheart | Jul 21, 2009 |



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