Best of the West 2009

9780292721227: Paperback
Release Date: 15th October 2009

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 286

University of Texas Press

Best of the West 2009

New Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri

Edited by
James Thomas
D. Seth Horton
Foreword by
Rick Bass
Paperback / £23.99

Best of the West: New Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri, an annual anthology of exceptional short fiction rooted in the western United States, debuted in 1988 and continued publication until 1992. Recognizing that the West remains rewarding territory for literary explorations, James Thomas and Seth Horton are now reviving the series in Best of the West 2009.

Thomas and Horton combed some 250 literary journals and magazines to gather these eighteen stories published since the fall of 2007. They come from both emerging and established writers, including Lee K. Abbott, Louise Erdrich, Dagoberto Gilb, Antonya Nelson, Joyce Carol Oates, and Annie Proulx. Like Bass, the editors believe "the Western short story" inhabits a wide territory; the subjects in this collection range from illegal immigrants tending illegal crops in California's national forests, to mismatched Mormon missionaries on the conversion trail in Nevada, to a Native American college student exploring her sexuality, to Papa Hemingway's meditations as he loads the shotgun in his Idaho cabin. As these stories make clear, the West continues to shape our literary landscape. Thomas and Horton have preserved the best of that work in this vital anthology.

  • Editors' Note
  • Foreword, Rick Bass
  • Lee K. Abbott, A Great Piece of Elephant (From The Georgia Review)
  • Aimée Baker, The Persistence of Memory (From Gulf Coast)
  • Susan Streeter Carpenter, Elk Medicine (From Crab Orchard Review)
  • Daniel Chacón, Velocity of Mass (From Rock & Sling)
  • Jeffrey Chapman, Great Salt Lake (From The Bellingham Review)
  • Tracy Daugherty, The Inhalatorium (From The Texas Review)
  • Louise Erdrich, The Reptile Garden (From The New Yorker)
  • Ernest J. Finney, Sequoia Gardens (From The Sewanee Review)
  • Dagoberto Gilb, Willows Village (From Harper's Magazine)
  • Lucrecia Guerrero, A Memory (From The Louisville Review)
  • Antonya Nelson, Or Else (From The New Yorker)
  • Joyce Carol Oates, Papa at Ketchum, 1961 (From Salmagundi)
  • Annie Proulx, The Sagebrush Kid (From The Guardian)
  • Aurelie Sheehan, Spin (From Ploughshares)
  • Stephen Tuttle, Amanuensis (From Hayden's Ferry Review)
  • Urban Waite, Don't Look Away (From Hayden's Ferry Review)
  • Don Waters, Mormons in Heat (From Kenyon Review)
  • Mitch Wieland, The Bones of Hagerman (From TriQuarterly)
  • Other Notable Western Stories of 2008
  • Publications Reviewed
  • Notes on Contributors
  • Credits

James Thomas coedited (with Denise Thomas) the first five volumes of Best of the West: New Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri. He has taught fiction at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

D. Seth Horton, who holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Arizona, was fiction editor of the Sonora Review. He previously edited the collection New Stories from the Southwest.