Tag Archives: Notable

‘Infelicities of Style’: 2015 Best American Essays Notable, Issue No. 102

Concluding the roster of work in ZYZZYVA that earned eleven Notables from the Best American series this year is Laura Esther Wolfson’s “Infelicities of Style”–one of five ZYZZYVA essays recognized as a Notable in the 2015 Best American Essays anthology. Wolfson tells the story of being a young stringer–a dance critic–for the local paper near her college. “Infelicities” is a mediation upon creating art, being excluded for one reason or the other from its creation, and a reckoning with the vagaries of fate.

Laura Esther Wolfson lives in New York City, where she works as a translator of Russian, French, and Spanish to English. Her writing has appeared in Bellingham Review, Gettysburg Review, The Rumpus, The Sun, and elsewhere; and has been repeatedly listed as Notable in Best American Essays. The following is an excerpt from “Infelicities of Style.”

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‘Bank Repos for Sale,’ 2015 Best American Short Stories & Best American Nonrequired Reading Notable, Issue No. 101

Elena Mauli Shapiro’s story “Bank Repos for Sale,” which appeared in Issue No. 101, accounts for two of the eleven Notables earned by our contributors from the Best American series this year—having been recognized by both Best American Short Stories and Best American Nonrequired Reading. It is a darkly comic story set in an America that, as its title suggest, couldn’t care less about a skyrocketing stock market or the newest app.

Shapiro is the author of two novels, “In the Red” and “13 rue Therese” (both published by Little, Brown). This is her second story published by ZYZZYVA. Her story “Commuting” was published in Issue No. 94. The following is an excerpt from “Bank Repos for Sale.”

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‘Hold On’: 2015 Best American Short Stories Notable, Issue No. 100

Scott O’Connor’s “Hold On” is the third work of fiction from our Issue No. 100 to be named a Notable in the 2015 Best American Short Stories anthology. It is a story that movingly probes a fear specific to anybody living near a fault zone (which, in the U.S., means anybody living anywhere on the West Coast): namely, having to endure what an earthquake can wreak.

Scott O’Connor is the author of the novels “Half World” (Simon & Schuster) and “Untouchable” (Tyrus Books), winner of a Barnes & Noble Discover Award, and the novella “Among Wolves.” He lives in Los Angeles. The following is an excerpt from “Hold On.”

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‘The Dead Ones’: 2015 Best American Essays Notable, Issue No. 100

Edie Meidav’s essay “The Dead Ones” is one of three in our 100th issue to receive a Notable from the 2015 Best American Essays. (The others are Katie Crouch’s “To Bloom, to Burst, to Blaze” and David L. Ulin’s “Green Shirt,” which we’ll be excerpting soon.) In richly textured prose, Meidav relates a homecoming to Berkeley and the end of life of a beloved mentor. “Then the question remains: must we carry the hearts of everyone until our heart,” she writes, “like a ship crowded with the memory of those who have left, eventually also sinks like they all did?”
Edie Meidav is the author of the novels “The Far Field,” “Crawl Space,” “Lola, California,” and the novel-in-progress “Dogs of Cuba.” She is the recipient of a Lannan Fellowship, a Howard Fellowship, the Kafka Prize for Best Fiction by an American Woman, the Bard Fiction Prize and other citations, and she teaches in the UMass Amherst MFA program.
Her essay “Cuba+Kids-Water” appeared in Issue No. 95. The following is an excerpt from “The Dead Ones.”

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‘One Quarrel’: 2015 Best American Short Stories Notable, Issue No. 100

Three stories from our milestone Issue No. 100 received a Notable from the Best American Short Stories 2015 anthology. “One Quarrel” by Ron Carlson is one of them.

Ron Carlson is the co-director of the MFA Program in Writing (Fiction) at UC Irvine. He is the author of nearly a dozen books of fiction, most recently the novel “Return to Oakpine” (Penguin). His short stories have appeared in publications such as Esquire, Harpers, and Ploughshares. “One Quarrel,” his exquisitely evocative tale of young love set on a college campus in winter, showcases the craftsmanship for which Carlson has long been praised. This is the second story by Carlson published in ZYZZYVA to be named a Notable by the Best American Short Stories. His first was “Line from a Movie,” published in Issue No. 96.

The following is an excerpt from the story.

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‘To Bloom, to Burst, to Blaze’: 2015 Best American Essays Notable, Issue No. 100

Three essays we published in our 100th issue received a Notable from the 2015 Best American Essays. The first of those we’re excerpting is Katie Crouch’s “To Bloom, to Burst, to Blaze.” A study on Sylvia Plath and a first-hand account of San Francisco during its first tech boom, Crouch’s essay is also a meditation on a friendship gone wrong and its accompanying guilt, which is felt many years later.

Katie Crouch has written numerous essays, which have appeared in The New York Times, Slate, the Rumpus, and Garden & Gun. She is also the best-selling author of the novels “Girls in Trucks,” “Men and Dogs,” and most recently, “Abroad” (Picador), now in paperback.

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‘Mendocino Fire’: 2015 Best American Short Stories Notable, Issue No. 100

Since 2011, when ZYZZYVA underwent a redesign, a beefed up web site, and a change in masthead, work appearing in the journal has been attracting wide recognition. For its issues appearing in 2011 through 2014, ZYZZYVA has received twenty Notables from the Best American series, as well as inclusions in the Best American Short Stories, Best American Essays, Best American Poets, and Best Nonrequired Reading anthologies; the journal has also received two Pushcart Prizes and four Pushcart Special Mentions in that time.

This month, when the Best American anthologies are in stores, we’d like to excerpt the many stories and essays from 2014 that received Notables from that prestigious series. We’re starting with a story by Elizabeth Tallent, “Mendocino Fire,” from our celebrated 100th issue. The story of the peripatetic life of a young female tree-sitter, raised, and arguably forsaken, in the wilds of the forests of Northern California, it delves into the haunting ache of abandonment and an intense yearning for connection. (It’s also the title story of Tallent’s new collection, published by Harper this month.) Of Elizabeth Tallent’s work, Richard Ford has said, “Her ear is perfect; her gaze searing and unmistakable.” We think you’ll agree.

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A House Well Furnished

There’s an unexpected sweetness to “A House Well Furnished” (ZYZZYVA No. 95), Brian Boies first published story, which was named to the Notable List for Best American Non-Required Reading 2013. (Also named to that list were ZYZZYVA stories by Rob Ehle, Dawna Kemper, and Bruce McKay.)

Boies’s protagonist is a young woman, lost in life and in San Francisco’s Mission District, living in a motel with Mark, a male companion. Her life is colorless and bleak, but she finds beauty in small things—the cleanliness of Mark’s childhood home, the look of him in the morning, of herself in the mirror. She and Mark take a day trip to Richmond; she dreams that Richmond will be all fields and creek. But when she arrives, reality intrudes. She ends the day how she began it; she is lost again. What follows is an excerpt from “A House Well Furnished.”

(Boies’s story is also the latest work from Issue No. 95 to be honored by the Best American series of anthologies. You can get a copy of that much-acclaimed issue here.)

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