Sunday, September 30, 2018

Ten great, under-read story collections by women

Sara Batkie's stories have been published in various journals, received mention in the 2011 Best American Short Stories anthology, and, most recently, honored with a 2017 Pushcart Prize. Her story collection Better Times won the 2017 Prairie Schooner Book Prize. One of ten "story collections by women you should read right now" she tagged at Publishers Weekly:
Bear Down, Bear North: Alaska Stories by Melinda Moustakis

There were a lot of op-eds in fancy newspapers after the election about so-called Trump-land, but, perhaps paradoxically, I’ve often found that the best way to understand people who are different than you is to read their fiction. I wouldn’t presume to guess how the characters in Melinda Moustakis’s stories would vote, but they certainly live in a manner that’s entirely foreign to me, despite being part of the same country. These are hunters, homesteaders, fishermen and women, surviving in one of the most unforgiving landscapes in the world, but Moustakis isn’t interested in further mythologizing her heritage, or in lazy miserabilist clich├ęs. With sentences that cut as fine as a fillet knife, she illuminates Alaska’s dark corners, revealing its full and varied shape in the process.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue