Each year the University of Georgia publishes two collections of short fiction by new writers, the annual winners of the Flannery O’Connor Award. The tales gathered here are from volumes published between 1992 and 1997, making this a somewhat curious compilation: It isn’t, after all, as if the work is long vanished, or obscure. That said, this particular anthology does serve to remind the reader of the distinctive quality of much of the fiction. “Nervous Dancer,” the title story from Carol Lee Lorenzo’s 1995 collection, offers a painfully exact portrait of a couple furiously destroying their marriage. Wendy Brenner’s “Guest Speaker” (from 1996’s Large Animals in Everyday Life) works some exhilarating changes on the old theme of a young woman discovering some core of identity and possibility in her life. Other contributors include Harvey Grossinger, Rita Ciresi, Alyce Miller, Andy Plattner (represented by the wonderfully laconic and rueful “Winter Money”), and Dianne Nelson. Overall, then: a kind of thumbnail summary of recent trends in American short fiction, and a useful introduction to the Award program—though it’s debatable whether a summary volume was needed before the end of the decade.