Hosted by Matthew Love of Selected Shorts, it was a night to celebrate “The Best American Short Stories 2014,” with selections by Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Jennifer Egan. Egan offered insights into this edition’s common themes – despair, hope through the support of others, wild animals – along with her own list of prerequisites for inclusion, most notably an ability to engage the reader in surprise and current truths. I closed my eyes and escaped into worlds created by Lauren Groff and T.C. Boyle – and performed by actors Amy Ryan and Dylan Baker, respectively.
(Golden rule: You are never too old to be read a story.)
Matthew Love was all wit. As part of his commentary, he riffed off of what other, more modern-day writing collections, might look like. He postulated that in our short-take society we might want to see, “The Best American Paragraphs,” “The Best American Sentences,” or even “The Best American Tweets” – adding that maybe they would be pamphlets instead of tomes. I thought I could contribute another trilogy, “The Best American Hashtags,” “The Best American Emoji Sentences,” “The Best American Selfies.” I bet they would sell (attention any agents out there wanting to get it on this, l’m #allears).