Best American Short Stories, Part Two

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In the literary world there’s lots of ink comparing the novel to the short story. The writer Lorrie Moore, the editor of this year’s Best American Short Stories, mentions in her introduction just a few she’s heard tossed her way: A short story is a love affair; a novel is a marriage. A short story is a photograph, a novel is a film. And her favorite: A short story is a flower, a novel is a job.

The short story still gets second billing to the novel but Lorrie Moore prefers a different perspective. By virtue of its length, the short story has a sense of urgency, of purity and of purpose. Or as Moore writes, it’s “very shortness ensures its largeness of accomplishment.”

On Thanksgiving Day, we’re keeping our own tradition alive by honoring the short story.


Jill McCorkle, author of a number of books, including the short story collection: “Creatures of Habit.”