Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Update and great news!

The reading of stories from the BASS 1978 is going well. Overall story quality after first readings – average. No real standouts.
I have been plagued by the Olympics bug, and that has kept me from making entries and reviews of the stories.

They will be up shortly!

The other problem is the constant appearance of new books in my hands.

It really is a mystery.

I have this bad habit of shifting from book to book.

My birthday was last week, and I was able to make a significant purchase.

The following years are now in transit and should be arriving soon!

The Best American Short Stories 1983

The Best American Short Stories 1984

The Best American Short Stories 1986

The Best American Short Stories 1987

The Best American Short Stories 1996

The Best American Short Stories 1997

The Best American Short Stories 1998

All of these titles for a whopping 25 bucks! I’m ready to add them to my shelf.

But, on a sad note, I had the remaining books to fill out my entire collection in my Amazon shopping cart, and financial obligations forced me to shift them out and place them into a holding pattern for now. I was bummed...but we gotta eat!

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Listed below are the contents:

The Best American Short Stories 1978 ed. Ted Solotaroff & Shannon Ravenel

xiii • IntroductionTed Solotaroff

1 • Skaters on WoodLeslie Epstein Esquire, 1977

26 • TranslationJoyce Carol Oates TriQuarterly, 1977

46 • A Good LoserElizabeth Cullinan New Yorker, 1977

65 • Verona: A Young Woman SpeaksHarold Brodkey Esquire Jul ’77

72 • The SchreuderspitzeMark Helprin New Yorker Jan 10 ’77

98 • In the Miro DistrictPeter Taylor New Yorker, 1977

136 • The Blacktop Champion of Ickey HoneyRobert T. Sorrells American Review Nov ’77

163 • Main Street MorningNatalie L. M. Petesch New Letters, 1977

177 • Murphy Jones: Pearblossom, CaliforniaMax Schott Ascent, 1977

192 • PsychopolisIan McEwan American Review, 1977

212 • By the Yellow LakePeter Marsh New Yorker, 1977

223 • The Conventional WisdomStanley Elkin American Review Nov ’77

248 • RedemptionJohn Gardner Atlantic Monthly, 1977

262 • Rough StrifeLynne Sharon Schwartz The Ontario Review Fll-Win ’77

282 • The Windmill ManTim McCarthy The Colorado Quarterly, 1977

292 • Telling the BeesL. Hluchan Sintetos Prairie Schooner, 1977

303 • BromeliadsJoy Williams The Cornell Review, 1977

310 • Two ScenesJane Bowles Ant├Žus, 1977

316 • DecadesGilbert Sorrentino Esquire, 1977

329 • In Miami, Last WinterJames Kaplan Esquire, 1977

354 • The Return of ServiceJonathan Baumbach American Review Nov ’77

363 • StausMary Ann Malinchak Rishel The Hudson Review Sum ’77

Getting started

There it is, The Best American Short Story anthology of 1978.

I was a worried that I would have difficulty finding a copy.

I should say a copy that I could afford. There are/were several copies out there floating around, but finding one for the price I could afford was difficult.

I saw a copy several months ago on Amazon, and failed to make the purchase, and when I was able to make the purchase, someone had scooped it up. I sought a copy out on ABE Books, and was able to make the purchase from them. I was very happy with the price I paid, and I could hardly wait for the package to arrive.

As I stated in my earlier post, I think that the discussion and review of the 1978 collection will be my starting point.

A bit about the book physically. Overall it is in good shape. No dust jacket and I’m not sure if it ever had one. It is a former Public Library book with all of the expected markings. I am attempting to find out where this book lived in the past, and I have two candidates with the second state being my guess at its former home.

There is a prominent stamp in the front of the book which reads:

“No longer property of Richmond Heights Public Library”.


There are several pages that contain stamps with numbers that were, for sure, some sort of library indexing numbers.

The two candidates:

Ohio - Richmond Heights library is a branch of the Cuyahoga county public library.

Missouri - Richmond Heights Memorial Library. This is my guess.

I sent an email message to the director of the Richmond Heights Memorial Library (name change in 1974) to ask if this particular book was once theirs. I have included the Library Directors response below.

Mr Hays,

I have been working at the Richmond Heights Memorial Library since March of 2000. That being the case I can only guess whether or not the stamp on the book in your possession could have come from here. My guess would be that yes, it could very well be the case that the stamp for withdrawing materials from the collection was not necessarily updated immediately when the name was changed. While the stamps to mark new materials being entered into the collection would probably have been a priority for updating, the stamps for withdrawing materials might have been a much lower priority.

This is conjecture on my part. Is there nothing left on the book of the original stamp stating ownership of the book? We currently stamp books in about three places with our current name and address. I am sure you have already searched for that.

Good luck in your quest.


Jeanette Piquet, Director

Richmond Heights Memorial Library

Well, That’s good enough for me. I think that it’s great that she took the time to write and help me out.

Many thanks to her.

So, I’ll end this entry with that and get on with the reading. I will be making other entries from time to time concerning other points about the series and the particular edition I happen to be reading.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

An introduction

I think a longer introduction to this exercise is needed to really pull out the reasons behind why I am attempting to read all of these stories. I shouldn’t say attempting, why I will read all is more like it.
I first discovered my attraction to the short story several years ago as I sat in a Laundromat early Saturday mornings. It was there, that I was able to read several stories in relative peace and really appreciate what the stories had to convey to me.
I will place the bulk of the blame for my addiction on the Journal “Glimmer Train”. We won’t see that name appear again for some time seeing that they didn’t start publishing until the early 1990’s.
Why 1978-2008? 30 years...it’s a nice number, and it’s the first year that the collection began to choose a different editor/selector every year. I also have the thought that as time goes by that I’ll change the 30 year to a new number and push back my starting year to 1972...my birth year.
So, enough with the introduction. Lets get to the reading and writing.