Meredith's Challenge 2.0

52 books, one year. Stay tuned for more details.

Friday, February 17, 2006

2.5 Best American Short Stories 1998 edited by Garrison Keillor

I thought that I loved this whole series but I noticed of late that the "guest" editors make a huge difference. I've never read any Keillor, but the themes that he is interested in, rural America, sadness and woe with not one marginally cheerful story in the lot, make for an uninteresting collection and don't make me want to pick him up. Has anyone read his stuff? What did you think about it?

Perhaps, it is my recent brain suck (we found a place, thank goodness, and will be moving shortly), but I never got really into any of the stories. I feel like darkness or "bad things" are associated with good writing and that sweetness and light are seen as being too easy. I disagree. Just because a story is about a "serious" topic, that does not make it well-written or particularly interesting. And if a story has a happy ending, that doesn't make it a literary lightweight. Yes, happiness is easier to enjoy and "get" than sadness but darkness isn't particularly interesting if it doesn't have a purpose besides it's own sake. And that was a crazy tangent.

I know that someone out there disagrees with me. Maybe I'm being too optimistic? Not "deep" enough? Let me know.


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