The Best American Series: Short Stories and Essays

An annual celebration of the country's best short fiction and nonfiction, the Best American Series launched in 1915 and this year features anthologies of the best American short stories; science fiction and fantasy; mystery and suspense; essays; food writing; and science and nature writing. The series has an unusual approach that gives it broad appeal and captures current trends in the field. The editor of each anthology combs through hundreds of journals, magazines, and websites to find the best writing of the year. A guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then selects about twenty of those pieces, which are by both established and new authors.

Nicole Angeloro, senior editor at Mariner and long-time in-house editor for the series, explains, "Our hope is to capture a snapshot of the very cultural moment we are in and a literary time capsule for the people who come after us. The staying power of the series comes down to the guest editor model. No two people will ever pick the same table of contents. And that keeps it interesting. It's a peek into the guest editor's world that is unique to their own body of work."

This year's anthologies all publish on November 1 in trade paper and a limited hardcover collectors' edition and include these two key titles:

The Best American Short Stories 2022 ($17.99, 9780358664710). The series editor is Heidi Pitlor. The guest editor is Andrew Sean Greer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of six works of fiction, including the bestsellers The Confessions of Max Tivoli and Less. He has taught at several universities, including the Iowa Writers Workshop, been a Today Show pick, a New York Public Library Cullman Center Fellow, a judge for the National Book Award, and a winner of the California Book Award and the New York Public Library Young Lions Award. He is the recipient of a NEA grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. In his foreword, he writes, "The American short story is thriving... For here we are, in a time when, more than ever, we realize the great necessity of art."

The Best American Essays 2022 ($17.99, 9780358658870). The series editor is Robert Atwan. The guest editor is Alexander Chee, the bestselling author of the novels The Queen of the Night and Edinburgh and the essay collection How to Write an Autobiographical Novel. He is a contributing editor at the New Republic and an editor at large at Virginia Quarterly Review. His work has appeared in The Best American Essays 2016, the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, the New Yorker, T Magazine, Slate, Vulture, among others. In his foreword, he writes, "This anthology, the work it does year after year, is at least one place some of these essays may be found again, a poker hand laid down in a bet against oblivion, and this year that hand is mine."


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