David James Poissant’s Top 10

I love stories, love them. Setting out to pick just ten, and finding that task incredibly difficult, I made three rules for myself: First, I would select only the work of writers I don’t know; no friends allowed. Two, I wouldn’t pick stories that already appear on other Storyville Top 10 lists. Three, I would sidestep the well-known. Let’s take as a given that great stories like James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” and Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” belong here, but let’s dispense with them in favor of stories that could use a wider audience. Stories are presented alphabetically by author’s last name.

1.“A Better Angel,” Chris Adrian (A Better Angel; FSG) 2.“Heaven,” Steven Barthelme (Hush Hush; Melville House)
3.“Towel Season,” Ron Carlson (At the Jim Bridger; Picador)4.“City Visit,” Adam Haslett (The Atlantic, Fiction Issue, 2005)
5.“Georgica,” A.M. Homes (Things You Should Know; Harper Perennial)6.“Explaining Death to the Dog,” Susan Perabo (Who I Was Supposed to Be; Simon & Schuster)
7.“Leg,” Steven Polansky (Dating Miss Universe, Ohio State University Press) 8.“Wet,” William Tester (Head, Sarabande)
9.“Xmas, Jamaica Plain,” Melanie Rae Thon (In this Light; Graywolf)10.“Good People,” David Foster Wallace (The New Yorker; Feb. 5, 2007)
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