Anchor Book’s experimental offerings not hothouse flowers, Salon reviewer argues

Stephany Aulenback,’s standing Friday blogger, recently broke out in hives after reading Charles McGrath’s review of The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories. McGrath dismissed out of hand many of the less traditional stories included by editor Ben Marcus.

Today at Salon, Priya Jain embraces the anthology as a whole, including the more experimental selections McGrath disdained. Arguing that many contemporary stories seem to be written for MFA students, “the one cohesive audience short stories have left,” Jain says even the anthology’s experimental offerings seem to have been written for “real readers . . . Stylistically, they revolt against tradition, but they are also less interested in making formalistic statements than they are in lodging themselves in our imagination.”

If you’re curious and in New York City this Thursday night, consider attending the Anchor Book reading. Check Lauren Cerand’s listing for details.


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