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pushcart prize xxvii Pushcart Prize XXVII: Best of the Small Presses




Book Description of Pushcart Prize XXVII:

The most honored literary series in America, The Pushcart Prize has been named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times and hailed with Pushcart Press as “among the most influential in the development of the American book business” by Publishers Weekly.

For the 2003 edition, The Pushcart Prize presents scores of brilliant short stories, poems, and essays selected from hundreds of presses and literary journals with the help of over 200 distinguished contributing editors. This is a stunning presentation of new and celebrated authors, picked from almost 8,000 nominations.

Reviews of Pushcart Prize XXVII:

Scouring small magazines and presses for the best of the year's fiction, poetry and nonfiction, Henderson offers up his longest collection yet. Though length and quality are not directly correlated-a substantial number of navel-gazing short stories might easily have been eliminated-several gems crop up in the rough. Two of the best pieces are personal essays inspired by their authors' unusual jobs. In “Line,” John Hale describes how his experiences as a surveyor changed his way of seeing things; Jeffrey A. Lockwood's “To Be Honest” is a cheeky account of an entomologist's efforts to offer agricultural justification for the mass murder of grasshoppers by the application of pesticides and the introduction of “natural” enemies. Some of the standout stories include “Cabeza” by Monique de Varennes, in which the housewife protagonist buys a pig's head at the market and leaves it in the refrigerator for days, disturbing her family, and Karl Iagnemma's “On the Nature of Human Romantic Interaction,” a mathematically precise love story set on a frigidly cold Michigan campus (“What a world!... where a failed engineer with a crooked nose can skate couples with a syrup-haired woman who smells archival”). It is the excitement of discovering promising new writers that draws most readers to the Pushcart, but several better-known names appear here as well, including Joyce Carol Oates, Louise Glck, Mary Jo Bang, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Bradford Morrow, Ben Marcus, Robert Pinsky, Melanie Rae Thon, Aimee Bender and Richard Bausch. Though tougher standards might have produced a smoother selection, there is much to appreciate in this 27th annual collection. Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. —Publisher's Weekly

Winning a Pushcart Prize has become a rite of passage in American literary life as each set of prizewinners nominates the next, and, accordingly, the annual volume has evolved into a vibrant exhibition of adventurous yet meticulously crafted writing, a best-of-the-year extravaganza that makes readily available in one place a wealth of otherwise scattered small-press offerings. The coeditors this time around include two outstanding poets, Pattiann Rogers and Carl Phillips, and this diverse and high-energy anthology of poetry, essays, and fiction achieves a particularly satisfying mix of established and new writers. Among the former are Chitra Divakaruni, Linda Gregerson, Melanie Rae Thon, Karen Volkman, Dan Chaon, Richard Bausch, and Robert Pinsky. New voices include poet Matt Yurdana; Katherine Taylor, author of a painfully funny memoir, “Traveling with Mother”; Karl Iagnemma, a research scientist whose work shapes his short story, “On the Nature of Human Romantic Interaction”; and Carolyn Alessio, author of “Casualidades,” a beautifully resonant and redemptive story. And we could go on, happily naming all 67 contributors. Donna Seaman Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved —Booklist

Description of the Pushcart Series:

The Pushcart Prize series, published every year since 1976, is the most honored literary project in America. Hundreds of presses and thousands of writers of short stories, poetry and essays have been represented in the pages of our annual collections.

Writers who were first noticed here include: Raymond Carver, Tim O’Brien, Jayne Anne Phillips, Charles Baxter, Andre Dubus, Susan Minot, Mona Simpson, John Irving, Philip Lopate, Philip Levine, and many more. Each year most of the writers and many of the presses are new to the series.

Comment on the Pushcart Series:

“These authors are not only our finest storytellers, poets and essayists, they are also the guardians of our language... this book is essential.” — Library Journal

A New York Times Book Review notable book of the year.

“Must reading for anyone interested in the present and future of America’s arts and letters.” — Kirkus Reviews

A Book of the Month Club selection

Winner of the Carey Thomas Award for Creative Publishing

“A truly remarkable collection of the finest small press poems, essays and short stories.” — Booklist