A merchant sailor works for a decade, captaining a yacht up and down the coasts of Malaysia, in the hope that his crooked employer will stay true to a promise...

Years after a pandemic sweeps across Europe, wiping out its all-white population, a pilgrim returns to his Polish birthplace in search of the only other non-white kid he knew at school...

An inscrutable hotelier loses his composure when a secret passage is discovered in his hotel, leading to a mysterious room and a previously hidden existence...

Born in what is now Ukraine to Polish parents, naturalised as a British citizen, and schooled on the high seas of international commerce, Joseph Conrad was a true citizen of the world. His novels bore witness to the dehumanising repercussions of empire, explored a world in which state-sponsored terrorism ruined individuals' lives, and pioneered complex narrative structures and subjective points-of-view in what was to become the first wave of literary modernism.

To mark his 160th birthday, 14 authors and critics from Britain, Poland and elsewhere have come together to celebrate his legacy with new pieces of fiction and non-fiction. Conrad felt that the writer's task was to offer 'that glimpse of truth for which you have forgotten to ask.' In an age of increasing isolationism, these celebrations remind you of the value of such glimpses.

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About the author

<b>Farah Ahamed</b> is a short fiction writer, who has been published in The Massachusetts Review, Thresholds, The Missing Slate and Out of Print among others. She has been nominated and shortlisted for numerous awards. <b>SJ Bradley</b> is a writer from Leeds. Her short fiction has appeared in various journals and anthologies including New Willesden Short Stories 7, Queen Mobs, Litro magazine, and Untitled Books. Her first novel, Brick Mother, and second novel, Guest, are both published by Dead Ink. She is the editor of the Saboteur Award-winning anthology Remembering Oluwale (Valley Press). <b>Agnieszka Dale</b> is a Polish-born London-based author. Her short stories have been selected for BBC Radio 4, Liars' League London, Tales of the Decongested and The Fine Line Short Story Collection. Her feature articles have been published by Stylist, and her song lyrics performed on BBC Radio 3's In Tune Live from Tate Modern. Her solo collection, Fox Season, was published by Jantar in 2017. <b>Jacek Dukaj</b> is one of Poland s most important writers of science fiction and fantasy. In 2009 he was winner of the inaugural European Literary Prize, and has also received the Koscielski Award and the Janusz A. Zajdel Award for his writing. His books include In the Land of the Infidels, The Black Seas and the bestselling Ice. In 2003 filmmaker Tomasz Baginski adapted his short story The Cathedral into a short animation that was nominated for an Oscar. <b>Giles Foden</b> is the author of the acclaimed The Last King of Scotland (1998), is set during Idi Amin's rule of Uganda in the 1970s and won the Whitbread First Novel Award, a Somerset Maugham Award, a Betty Trask Award and the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize.He contributes regularly to the The Guardian and is books review editor for Condé Nast Traveller magazine. <b>Zoe Gilbert</b> s short stories have appeared in anthologies and journals in the UK and internationally. Her story Fishskin, Hareskin won the Costa Short Story Award 2014. <b>Jan Krasnowolski</b> is a writer, essayist and translator. He is the author of four books of creative fiction and the winner of three Machina Magazine creative writing awards. In 2017, his book &#34;Syreny z Broadmoor&#34;, which translates as &#34;The Sirens of Broadmoore&#34;, was published by Swiat ksiazki. <b>Dr. Richard Niland</b> is Lecturer in the English Department at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. He published his book Conrad and History with OUP in 2010. In 2013 he was the recipient of the Adam Gillon Award for Best Book on Conrad published 2009-2012 from the Joseph Conrad Society USA. <b>Wojciech Orlinski</b> trained as a chemist but has devoted most of his professional life to writing about science fiction, as a journalist, writer, and blogger. Since 1997, he has been a regular columnist for Gazeta Wyborcza. <b>Gra yna Plebanek</b> is a writer, columnist and author of bestselling novels &#34;Illegal Unions&#34;, &#34;Portofino Girls&#34; and &#34;Box with pins&#34; (2002). She is a Golden Owl winner for promoting Poland abroad. <b>Sarah Schofield</b> is an award-winning short story writer based in Lancashire and currently teaches Creative Writing at Edgehill University. Her stories have appeared in several of Comma's anthologies. <b>Kamila Shamsie</b> is the author of seven novels, which have been translated into over 20 languages. Home Fire was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Burnt Shadows was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, and A God in Every Stone was shortlisted for the Bailey s Women s Prize for Fiction. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and one of Granta s Best of Young British Novelists . <b>Paul Theroux</b> is an American travel writer and novelist, whose best-known work is The Great Railway Bazaar. He has published numerous works of fiction, some of which were adapted as feature films.   

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Additional Information

Comma Press
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Published on
Nov 30, 2017
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Fiction / Anthologies (multiple authors)
Fiction / General
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
Literary Collections / Essays
Literary Criticism / Short Stories
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The Best American Short Stories is the longest running and best-selling series of short fiction in the country. For the centennial celebration of this beloved annual series, master of the form Lorrie Moore selects forty stories from the more than two thousand that were published in previous editions. Series editor Heidi Pitlor recounts behind-the-scenes anecdotes and examines, decade by decade, the trends captured over a hundred years. Together, the stories and commentary offer an extraordinary guided tour through a century of literature with what Moore calls “all its wildnesses of character and voice.”

These forty stories represent their eras but also stand the test of time. Here is Ernest Hemingway’s first published story and a classic by William Faulkner, who admitted in his biographical note that he began to write “as an aid to love-making.” Nancy Hale’s story describes far-reaching echoes of the Holocaust; Tillie Olsen’s story expresses the desperation of a single mother; James Baldwin depicts the bonds of brotherhood and music. Here is Raymond Carver’s “minimalism,” a term he disliked, and Grace Paley’s “secular Yiddishkeit.” Here are the varied styles of Donald Barthelme, Charles Baxter, and Jamaica Kincaid. From Junot Díaz to Mary Gaitskill, from ZZ Packer to Sherman Alexie, these writers and stories explore the different things it means to be American.

Moore writes that the process of assembling these stories allowed her to look “thrillingly not just at literary history but at actual history — the cries and chatterings, silences and descriptions of a nation in flux.” 100 Years of The Best American Short Stories is an invaluable testament, a retrospective of our country’s ever-changing but continually compelling literary artistry.

LORRIE MOORE, after many years as a professor of creative writing at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is now the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. Moore has received honors for her work, among them the Irish Times International Fiction Prize and a Lannan Foundation fellowship, as well as the PEN/Malamud Award and the Rea Award for her achievement in the short story. Her most recent novel, A Gate at the Stairs, was short-listed for the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction and for the PEN/Faulkner Award, and her most recent story collection, Bark, was short-listed for the Story Prize and the Frank O’Connor Award.

HEIDI PITLOR is a former senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and has been the series editor of The Best American Short Stories since 2007. She is the author of the novels The Birthdays and The Daylight Marriage.

"Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom — poets, visionaries — realists of a larger reality. . . ."

Words Are My Matter collects talks, essays, introductions to beloved books, and book reviews by Ursula K. Le Guin, one of our fore- most public literary intellectuals. Words Are My Matter is essential reading. It is a manual for investigating the depth and breadth of con- temporary fiction — and, through the lens of deep considerations of contemporary writing, a way of exploring the world we are all living in.

"We need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximise corporate profit and advertising revenue is not the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship.” *

Le Guin is one of those authors and this is another of her moments. She has published more than sixty books ranging from fiction to nonfiction, children’s books to poetry, and has received many lifetime achievement awards including the Library of Congress Living Legends award. This year her publications include three survey collections: The Found and the Lost: The Collected Novellas; The Unreal and the Real: The Selected Short Stories; and The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena, Stories and Songs (Library of America).

* From “Freedom” A speech in acceptance of the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
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