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First Looks, September 2012: Tell Everyone I Said Hi and BASS


Hello again, FWR friends. Welcome to the latest installment of our “First Looks” series, which highlights soon-to-be released books that have piqued my interest as a reader-who-writes. We publish “First Looks” here on the FWR blog around the 15th of each month, and as always, I’d love to hear your comments and your recommendations of forthcoming titles. Please drop me a line anytime: erika(at)fictionwritersreview(dot)com, and thanks in advance.


tell_everyone_i_said_hiI can’t say I wasn’t warned that Chad Simpson’s essay, “An Epilogue to the Unread”—which connects the illness and passing of Simpson’s mother, her love for reading, examples of generosity in our sometimes not-so-nice literary world, and some mention of Simpson’s own forthcoming collection—would hit me in the heart. But I didn’t expect to experience the urgency that drove me to pre-order said collection, Tell Everyone I Said Hi, once I reached the essay’s end.

Tell Everyone I Said Hi won the 2012 John Simmons Short Fiction Award, and, as such, it will be published by the University of Iowa Press early next month. (Fellow fiction writers may find some inspiration in the discovery, via Simpson’s website, that the author submitted the manuscript to other contests, too. Remember, folks, you only need to win one!) Simpson’s site is also where you can find a book trailer and praise from Jim Shepard, Peter Orner, and Justin Torres.

BASSAnd speaking of short stories: We’re approaching that time of year again—time to unveil the annual Best American Short Stories anthology, a series published by Houghton Mifflin and edited by Heidi Pitlor. The guest editor for the 2012 volume is Tom Perrotta. I always anticipate the editors’ introductions to these volumes—and the reflections on fiction, short stories, and literary publishing that they typically contain—with at least as much interest as I await the stories themselves. How about you?


Further Resources

  • This release from the University of Iowa Press announces the winners of the 2012 Iowa Short Fiction Award: Chad Simpson and Marie-Helene Bertino, about whom you’ll learn more here on FWR in due course.
  • Tom Perrotta will present The Best American Short Stories 2012 in “Selected Shorts” at New York City’s Symphony Space on Wednesday, November 7.

Join the Discussion

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  • Celeste

    Erika, I’m with you–I love the stories in the yearly anthologies (BASS and others) but I also look forward to the reflections by the editors on why they chose the stories and how they see the world of fiction at the moment. And I love the notes from the authors on their stories, too–so seldom do you get to hear the “inside story” of what inspired a piece and what a writer feels about it. You don’t want to know that about EVERY story, of course–but I find them so helpful for teaching as well as writing.

  • I’m just starting the annual Reading of the BASS on my blog – I’ve just done the Foreword/Intro so far, but I hope to read and post about two stories a week and finish by the end of the year, when it’ll be time to do the new Pushcart…

    I’d love company – especially differing points of view. Anyone want to join me?

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