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Sudden Fiction: American Short-Short Stories

af Robert Shapard (Redaktør), James Thomas (Redaktør)

Andre forfattere: Max Apple (Bidragyder), Russell Banks (Bidragyder), Donald Barthelme (Bidragyder), Charles Baxter (Bidragyder), Joe David Bellamy (Bidragyder)64 mere, Richard Blessing (Bidragyder), Roy Blount Jr (Bidragyder), T.C. Boyle (Bidragyder), Ray Bradbury (Bidragyder), Barry Callaghan (Bidragyder), Francois Camoin (Bidragyder), Ron Carlson (Bidragyder), Raymond Carver (Bidragyder), Fred Chappell (Bidragyder), John Cheever (Bidragyder), Lucas Cooper (Bidragyder), Robert Coover (Bidragyder), Lydia Davis (Bidragyder), Fielding Dawson (Bidragyder), Stephen Dixon (Bidragyder), Stuart Dybek (Bidragyder), Russell Edson (Bidragyder), Robert Fox (Bidragyder), H.E. Francis (Bidragyder), George Garrett (Bidragyder), Gary Gildner (Bidragyder), Barbara L. Greenberg (Bidragyder), James B Hall (Bidragyder), Barry Hannah (Bidragyder), Ernest Hemingway (Bidragyder), Langston Hughes (Bidragyder), Gordon Jackson (Bidragyder), Charles Johnson (Bidragyder), Bel Kaufman (Bidragyder), Robert Kelly (Bidragyder), Sandra J. Kolankiewicz (Bidragyder), Marilyn Krysl (Bidragyder), John L'Heureux (Bidragyder), Sharyn Layfield (Bidragyder), Gordon Lish (Bidragyder), Bernard Malamud (Bidragyder), Jane Martin (Bidragyder), Jack Matthews (Bidragyder), Craig McGarvey (Bidragyder), Leonard Michaels (Bidragyder), Paul Milenski (Bidragyder), Philip F. O'Connor (Bidragyder), Joyce Carol Oates (Bidragyder), David Ordan (Bidragyder), Pamela Painter (Bidragyder), Grace Paley (Bidragyder), William Peden (Bidragyder), Jayne Anne Phillips (Bidragyder), Michael Plemmons (Bidragyder), Mary Robison (Bidragyder), Pat Rushin (Bidragyder), Steven Schutzman (Bidragyder), Lydia Sexson (Bidragyder), James Still (Bidragyder), Elizabeth Tallent (Bidragyder), Peter Taylor (Bidragyder), John Updike (Bidragyder), Arturo Vivante (Bidragyder), Tom Whalen (Bidragyder), Tennessee Williams (Bidragyder), Chet Williamson (Bidragyder), Robley Wilson Jr (Bidragyder), Tobias Wolff (Bidragyder), Rolf Yngve (Bidragyder)

Serier: Sudden Fiction (1)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
359668,890 (3.57)3
Presents over seventy short stories five pages long or less by such American authors as Joyce Carol Oates, Ray Bradbury, Langston Hughes, and Raymond Carver, and includes authors' commentary on the genre.

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» Se også 3 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 6 (næste | vis alle)
This is the anthology that I read in college that has the story about the newlyweds and the neighbor and the birds! (The Quail by Rolf Yngve). I'm so freaking glad I remembered this, it was driving me insane. ( )
  readingjag | Nov 29, 2021 |
Some of my favorites:

Mother - Grace Paley
Sunday in the Park - Bel Kaufman
Pygmalion - John Updike
Strong Man - George Garrett
Tickits - Paul Milenski
The Sock - Lydia Davis
Speed of Light - Pat Rushin
The Quail - Rolf Yngve
Yours - Mary Robison

( )
  cait815 | Apr 1, 2013 |
I don't know that there's much to say about the story collection, other than it's very complete. There are several classics, by big-name authors: Updike, Carver ('Popular Mechanics' is one of my old faves), Hemingway. Pretty much something for everyone, and you may well find something that you wouldn't normally look for.

Ray Bradbury's "I See You Never" is fairly traditional short story-like, and one of my favorites in this collection, but "A Questionnaire for Rudolph Gordon", which cleverly played with the childhood and the idea/concept of parents and memory, was not at all like most things called story—it's literally a questionnaire. And then there's "Class Notes", also nontraditional, but I got nothing from it at all.

Perhaps my favorite part of this collection is the "Afterwords" that includes discussions on the meaning of the form (whatever you want to call it) and, for that matter, what it actually is. Not least of all, what to call it. I love reading authors' more off-the-cuff writings. Here, these very short analyses (if you can call them that) feel almost like a conversation, not too formal, like they're working it out as they write. ( )
  MarieAlt | Mar 31, 2013 |
The rating is a compromise. The result of my conflicting sense that this is a landmark book that everyone interested in contemporary literature and professional writing should own--and well, the fact that I liked such a small percentage of these stories even a little.

On the must-read/own side, at the time this collection was put together (1986) the literary world saw an explosion of short-short fiction. As noted in the introduction, the great majority of these stories had been published within the last five years. As it happens, only 22 out of the 70 stories here were published before the 1980s, and over half of those were published in the seventies. Thus this collection was part of the whole debate about what are these things and what do we call them? (Ultimately, they've generally been called by a term the editors didn't adopt but mentioned in the Introduction--Flash Fiction--and they're ubiquitous these days on the literary scene.) Does the length by itself call forth a form different in quality than the ordinary short story? The stories in this collection run from less than 300 words to 1,500. Each story is only a few pages that can be read in less than five minutes. The authors include many celebrated literary names such as T. Coraghessan Boyle, Raymond Carver, Ernest Hemingway, Langston Hughes, Bernard Malamud, Joyce Carol Oates, John Updike and Tennessee Williams. The collection consists not only of these stories but nearly 30 pages of an Afterwards by editors and celebrated authors examining the theory and practice and definitions of the short story and particularly the short-short.

But then there's that of 70 stories, I liked little more than about one-tenth of them. This says more about my literary tastes (or some might feel, the lack of them) than the job the editors did. This is decidedly contemporary literary fiction. It has that sensibility and style. There is fiction that falls into that category I do love, but so much contemporary literary fiction comes across to me as sterile, pretentious and crass, and that's true of the vast majority of this collection. (Including by the way, Hemingway's contribution, "A Very Short Story," which coming from 1925, is the earliest entry in the anthology. Take a look at its last sentence.) It's as if today's literati would rather die than entertain, move or inspire. Almost all of these are decidedly downbeat and few have a twist, a surprise or a smile in store. The contribution by Ray Bradbury, "I See You Never" is the dullest story by him I've ever read. Yet, mainstream fiction these might be, so many seem gimmicky--see, for instance, "A Questionnaire for Rudolph Gordon." I can however, name 8 stories I know I'll remember for a long time. For the record, in the order they appeared:

John Cheever, Reunion (1962) - a wonderful character study about a son's experience with his father that reveals so much with just a few telling words.

Bel Kaufman, Sunday in the Park (1985) - for something so short and so seemingly trivial (an incident at a sandbox) this manages to have quite a punch.

John Updike, Pymgmalion (1981) - the title expresses perfectly the theme of this story about a man shaping his wife to his tastes.

Elizabeth Talent, No One's a Mystery (1985) - about the different expectations of a couple about their future--this manages to be cynical and hopeful at once.

Mary Robison, Yours (1981) - this does what few contemporary literary stories dare to--turn around and play with your expectations.

Langston Hughes, Thank You, M'am (1958) - does something else few contemporary stories dare to--create a memorable character you actually care about.

Raymond Carver, Popular Mechanics (1982) - not sure how to characterize this one. Prose poem? Magical realism? But while I wouldn't call it horror exactly, it has the chilling impact of the best in the genre. One of those, like "Pygmalion" I know I won't forget. Ever.

Chet Williamson, The Personal Touch (1983) - the humor might be a bit grim--but it's there. I almost laughed out loud at the twist. And it is a twist.

So, as a collection of stories, most of which I'd want to read again and again, this fails. Yet it will stay on my bookshelf because I find there's much I've learned--and still could learn--about contemporary literature and writing fiction reading these. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Jul 17, 2012 |
I wanted to read a collection of flash fiction (though, as I learned, there is a subtle distinction between “sudden fiction” and “flash fiction”—this difference is in length. “Flash” refers to even shorter stories—1 to 2 pages—and “sudden” allows up to about five pages) for a variety of reasons. The first of these was to find good examples of stories to share with my Creative Writing class. Their brevity appealed to me because we could easily cover on in one class setting (though, ideally, a truly good piece could be analyzed for days on end). Secondly, there’s something to be said about our current ADD culture. While I can sit and read a novel (in my spare minutes between work, school, and odd jobs around the house), many of today’s youth, the generation of the 15 second commercial (I know, I know, they’re normally 30 seconds to a minute, but watch them—you’ll see a lot more 15 second commercials these days) lose interest after a page or two. So this style of writing, in my mind, would be immediately compelling. It would get to the heart of a story in as few beats as possible, and then ratchet up our pulses—0 to 600 bps (beats per second) in two pages or less.
More at http://annotationnation.wordpress.com/2009/07/01/sudden-fiction/
  AnnotationNation | Mar 22, 2011 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Shapard, RobertRedaktørprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Thomas, JamesRedaktørhovedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Apple, MaxBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Banks, RussellBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Barthelme, DonaldBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Baxter, CharlesBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Bellamy, Joe DavidBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Blessing, RichardBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Blount Jr, RoyBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Boyle, T.C.Bidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Bradbury, RayBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Callaghan, BarryBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Camoin, FrancoisBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Carlson, RonBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Carver, RaymondBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Chappell, FredBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Cheever, JohnBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Cooper, LucasBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Coover, RobertBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Davis, LydiaBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Dawson, FieldingBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Dixon, StephenBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Dybek, StuartBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Edson, RussellBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Fox, RobertBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Francis, H.E.Bidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Garrett, GeorgeBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Gildner, GaryBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Greenberg, Barbara L.Bidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Hall, James BBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Hannah, BarryBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Hemingway, ErnestBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Hughes, LangstonBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Jackson, GordonBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Johnson, CharlesBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Kaufman, BelBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Kelly, RobertBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Kolankiewicz, Sandra J.Bidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Krysl, MarilynBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
L'Heureux, JohnBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Layfield, SharynBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Lish, GordonBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Malamud, BernardBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Martin, JaneBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Matthews, JackBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
McGarvey, CraigBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Michaels, LeonardBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Milenski, PaulBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
O'Connor, Philip F.Bidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Oates, Joyce CarolBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Ordan, DavidBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Painter, PamelaBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Paley, GraceBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Peden, WilliamBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Phillips, Jayne AnneBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Plemmons, MichaelBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Robison, MaryBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Rushin, PatBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Schutzman, StevenBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Sexson, LydiaBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Still, JamesBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Tallent, ElizabethBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Taylor, PeterBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Updike, JohnBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Vivante, ArturoBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Whalen, TomBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Williams, TennesseeBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Williamson, ChetBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Wilson Jr, RobleyBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Wolff, TobiasBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Yngve, RolfBidragydermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet

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Presents over seventy short stories five pages long or less by such American authors as Joyce Carol Oates, Ray Bradbury, Langston Hughes, and Raymond Carver, and includes authors' commentary on the genre.

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