Books by Shannon Ravenel

NEW STORIES FROM THE SOUTH by Shannon Ravenel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 10, 2005

"That said, the pleasures here outdistance the shortcomings by a country mile."
The familiar annual celebrates its 20th anniversary with 19 stories that pull their imaginative starter cultures from below the Mason-Dixon Line. Read full book review >
NEW STORIES FROM THE SOUTH by Shannon Ravenel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 4, 2004

"Well-crafted tales from a laudable tradition, though Ravenal might encourage more experimental voices next time."
A mixed bag of 18 mostly unsurprising stories by names both celebrated and more regionally obscure in the 19th installment of this well-established series. Read full book review >
NEW STORIES FROM THE SOUTH by Shannon Ravenel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 11, 2003

"Both the familiar and the strange are eloquently evoked and celebrated here: a model anthology."
Editor Ravenel has cast her net widely and well, making the 18th installment of this deservedly successful series one of its best yet. Read full book review >
NEW STORIES FROM THE SOUTH by Shannon Ravenel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 13, 2002

"Ravenel is one of the most resourceful and intelligent editors in the business, and this entertaining 17th installment is one of her most pleasing productions."
Several excitingly original stories from new and recently emergent writers make this now-venerable annual a must for readers who mean to keep up with contemporary short fiction. Read full book review >
NEW STORIES FROM THE SOUTH by Shannon Ravenel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 14, 2001

"No anthology satisfies all readers, but Ravenel's editorial eye is as sharp as ever, appealing to the center of the heart rather than the middle of the brow."
Sixteenth volume in one of the generally most satisfying annual anthologies of contemporary fiction. Read full book review >
NEW STORIES FROM THE SOUTH by Shannon Ravenel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 8, 2000

"Hardly flawless, but, like its past numbers, a showcase of new talent that shores up some developing careers, and pays homage to the wonder that is southern fiction."
For the 15th anniversary of New Stories from the South, Ravenel stirs up a real gumbo of southern writing: authors of all ages—some first-timers, some long familiar to fans of this essential series. Read full book review >
NEW STORIES FROM THE SOUTH by Shannon Ravenel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 10, 1999

NEW STORIES FROM THE SOUTHThe Year's Best, 1999Ravenel, Shannon—Ed.

Read full book review >
NEW STORIES FROM THE SOUTH by Shannon Ravenel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 11, 1998

NEW STORIES FROM THE SOUTHThe Year's Best, 1998Ravenel, Shannon—Ed.

Read full book review >
NEW STORIES FROM THE SOUTH by Shannon Ravenel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 19, 1997

The 11th installment in this excellent series is certainly one of the strongest, with 19 stories that capture the diversity of the South in voice and place, drawing on a range of old and new talents. The Old South of decaying mansions, men in seersucker, and women in lace is well recalled in first-rate tales by Charles East (``Pavane for a Dead Princess''), who meditates on the phenomenon of elderly ladies and their young male companions; by Pam Durban (``Gravity''), who beautifully records the decline of a once- distinguished Charleston family; and by Ellen Douglas (``Julia and Nellie''), who offers a tale of friendship transcending serious religious conflict. Read full book review >

NEW STORIES FROM THE SOUTH by Shannon Ravenel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 20, 1996

The second decade of this fine series begins with a real coup- -a story by the King of Southern culture himself: no, not Elvis, but William Faulkner, a previously unpublished story rediscovered by the editor of The Oxford American, itself a bright new addition to the literary scene down home. Ravenel continues to scour magazines big and small for the best by and about the South. Read full book review >

NEW STORIES FROM THE SOUTH by Shannon Ravenel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1995

The tenth installment in an increasingly successful series holds few surprises but contains a fair amount of accomplished and original short fiction. Editor Ravenel seems to have sedulously combed the little magazines for talent. Read full book review >

NEW STORIES FROM THE SOUTH by Shannon Ravenel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

Persuasive voices, emotional depth, and a wide range of points of view distinguish these 16 stories of generally high quality. Ravenel, a native of the Carolinas, has culled tales by well- and lesser-known authors from American literary magazines ranging from the Carolina Quarterly to Harper's. Read full book review >

NEW STORIES FROM THE SOUTH by Shannon Ravenel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

Ravenel stretches her sense of southernness so far in this volume of 18 stories that even some of the contributors wonder what they're doing here, as a few comment in afterwords to their pieces. The strongest tales (by Edward Jones, Jill McCorkle, Peter Taylor, Wendell Berry, Pinckney Benedict, and David Huddle) have all appeared in recent collections and been reviewed (in most cases, favorably) by Kirkus. Read full book review >

NEW STORIES FROM THE SOUTH by Shannon Ravenel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

The seventh volume in this now-established series is a welcome mix of stories by new and established authors, drawn from a wide variety of magazines, from The Black Warrior Review to The New Yorker. Of the 17 selections, five or so are from collections already published, including a lopsided and funny piece by Padget Powell (from Typical) and a strained and serious excerpt from Nanci Kincaid's novel Crossing Blood (p. 419). Read full book review >

NEW STORIES FROM THE SOUTH by Shannon Ravenel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

Now that this excellent series is firmly established among must-read annuals, Ravenel should skip the apologetic introductions in which she repeatedly tries to justify the regional basis for her anthology. The evidence speaks for itself here—16 stories by or about southerners that embrace a wide range of literary and geographical experience. Read full book review >

THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 1990 by Shannon Ravenel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 1, 1990

"A fair sampling of what's happening in American fiction today."
This year's collection of North American stories suffers from a bad editorial policy: unlike the British-based series (see Gordon & Hughes, below), this annual volume includes stories that are also being reprinted this year in books by their respective authors. Read full book review >
THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 1989 by Margaret Atwood
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 1989

Novelist Atwood writes a mild, conventional introduction to her choices for this year's Best, which themselves are mostly mild and conventional stories. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1988

"Its imperfection is its greatest attraction, in fact—which may make it the closest exemplar of what Helprin tries to get at in his chuffing introduction."
Helprin introduces his guest-selection with a John-Gardneresque screed ("Minimalists appear to be people who have not been forced to struggle, and who have not dared upon some struggle, to which they have not been forced. Read full book review >
THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 1987 by Ann Beattie
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 20, 1987

"Included this year, by the way, in the contributor's notes, is an opportunity for each writer to talk about the genesis of his or her story—a sophomoric, writing-workshop idea that adds nothing to the stories at all."
Beattie writes a serviceable and (for a change in this series) unjadedly enthusiastic introduction to the choices she's made—and, once more, the picker says a good deal about the picked: many stories here trade in the centripetal shagginess of detail yet narrow narrative lurch that mark so many of Beattie's own works. Read full book review >
BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES, 1986 by Shannon Ravenel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 30, 1986

"But, otherwise, tired nags ran this course, on the whole."
If this year's edition were a horse race (and these "bests" can't be denied their competitive aspect), it would be a $3000 claimer. Read full book review >
THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES, 1985 by Shannon Ravenel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 1985

"Apart from the Banks, though, little is memorable here."
Though nothing dramatically robs you of breath in this year's selection, Godwin has welcomely restored an element missing from recent roundups: sex. Read full book review >
THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 1984 by Shannon Ravenel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 15, 1984

"And, like this year's O. Henry story-collection, Updike's shrewd, professional gathering is topped by a classic that's sure to appear in anthologies for decades to come: Cynthia Ozick's scouring projection of the path of Jewish history toward Miami Beach—"Rosa."
It's not surprising, perhaps, that Updike—a dazzling critic as well as an assured, gifted story-writer—proves to be the most satisfying guest-editor of the "Best American Short Stories" series so far. Read full book review >
THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 1983 by Anne Tyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 30, 1983

"Still—one of the better post-Foley anthologies, with few risks and few inspired moments, but also with few pretensions or embarrassments."
For 1982, Wright Morris' "Victrola"—a Chekhovian tale of man-dog attachment—was clearly the story of the year: it was the standout of William Abrahams' strong O. Henry Award collection (p. 191)—and it's certainly the standout of this less impressive gathering by novelist Tyler, 1983's guest-editor for the Best American Short Stories series. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1982

"But it's hardly a fair reflection of the year's best—and perhaps this series should take on a new title if such unbalanced collections are to be expected in the future."
Since the death of Martha Foley, the Best American Short Stories series has been in the hands of annual celebrity-editors—so, while William Abrahams' O. Henry Awards collections have become ever more sturdily sound and balanced, the Best have become idiosyncratic and erratic, more a gathering of personal favorites than a trustworthy reflection of the evolving short-story scene. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1981

"Very few standouts, much inferior, unflattering work: a definite dip in quality and authority for this usually-solid series."
This new Best Stories collection, the weakest in years, should not necessarily lead to generalizations about the sad state of the American short story—because the problem may have more to do with editorial judgment. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1980

"But, if only for that superb Evanier story, it's a valuable item."
Stanley Elkin is this year's guest editor for the Best Stories—and, not surprisingly, the kinds of stories he likes are the kind he writes: longish, comically operatic, frequently about Jews or the momentarily possessed. Read full book review >
THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 1979 by Shannon Ravenel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 1979

"A largely drab round-up, then, with the few, best stories utterly overshadowing the lesser efforts."
The favorites finish first this time out: Bellow's roistering "A Silver Dish," Barthelme's "The New Music," a section from Malamud's Dubin's Lives, Styron's "Shadrach," and Singer's "A Party in Miami Beach." Read full book review >