‘Best Debut Short Stories 2020: The PEN America Dau Prize’: The Ties That Bind

by Cade Johnson

Each year, Catapult publishes an anthology of the twelve recipients of the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers, which highlights writers who demonstrate exceptional talent in their first published short stories. In this year’s installment, Best Debut Short Stories 2020: The PEN America Dau Prize (240 pages; Catapult), editor Yuka Igarashi’s introduction observes that the un-ignorable presence and impact of money unites the collection. But reading through these stories, it’s hard not to focus, perhaps as a result of the pandemic’s transformation of the ways we socialize, on the stories’ exploration of group dynamics, as well as […]

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