March 6th, 2012 / 8:04 am

What’s the best story that you’ve read in the past few years?

(Yes, I will eventually tabulate the results in a post—so vote! And include a link, if it’s online & if you can.)


  1. rawbbie

      I heard this season of The Bachelor is pretty heated.

  2. Sam Cooney

      stop being a funny person, and just be a person for a bit.

  3. A D Jameson

       Who wrote that? Is it published serially?

  4. Tohmas

      “The Rooster,” by Brian Van Reet. Published in Shenandoah…I’m not sure which issue.

  5. A D Jameson

      You know, I’d actually include that, if one could read it. I’ve never really thought about it, but I probably have a pretty broad notion of what constitutes a story.

  6. rawbbie

      come on? we all know courtney is full of shit.

      ps: i can’t not be a person.

      pps:   Exits Are isn’t a person either.

  7. bmichael

      To be a little blah, I really liked that bit of Egan’s Goon Squad that was in the New Yorker.

  8. Helen
  9. Nathan Thornton

      I was really blown away by Nathaniel Rich’s “The Northeast Kingdom” which appears in McSweeney’s #38. It’s an amazing story about family and community and the pitfalls of being special. Sharply written characters and whippet-fast pacing make for a really compelling read. Great stuff. 

  10. Drew Lerman

      “Testimony of Pilot,” by Barry Hannah

  11. A D Jameson

      This is all great, please keep it coming!

  12. Brian Mihok

      Really loved “If Your Light Must Leave You” by Amanda Goldblatt in The Collagist a while back.

  13. William VanDenBerg

      “We Will Plan Big Things” by Mary Stone. It incapacitated me for a few hours:

  14. Ultra Vegina

      ‘Best’ depends on what you’re after. I’ve read a few “best” stories in the past few years. As far as getting my head fucked, of reminding myself what the word awe-someness means, Greg Egan’s Crystal Nights still resonates after four years.

      Brian Evenson’s Mudder Tongue still resonates strongly, for different reasons. I read that one only a few months ago.

  15. Peter Fontaine

      Probably the best story I’ve read in the last seven years is Sherman Alexie’s “What You Pawn I Will Redeem.”

  16. Victor Schultz

      maybe “tracking song” or “seven american nights” by gene wolfe. “pu-239” by ken kalfus, maybe.

  17. sam salvador

      really loved steve almond’s “donkey greedy, donkey get punched” in a tin house a few yrs back. something about wallace’s “incarnation with burned children” sticks with me in some small unsettled part of my animal heart, & i think i read Oblivion 1.5 yrs ago.

  18. mimi

      Those of Us in Plaid by Seth Fried  

      it was in McSweeney’s SF Panorama

  19. A D Jameson

       Go with whatever “best” means to you.

  20. Trey

      I really loved Amina Cain’s “Black Wings” (and nearly everything else in I Go to Some Hollow)

  21. Trey
  22. Dave McLeod

      Leaving the Atocha Station – Ben Lerner.  But then I’m halfway through #2 in The Hunger Games and loving that, so what do I know?

  23. Mark Danowsky
  24. Mark Danowsky

      I can see why. Unique. Strong imagery with Fabulist elements.

  25. Tohmas

      Oh, and another delightful story would be “Claim”, by Glen Pouciau. The Paris Review published that one ( ). He also published some really swell reads in Avery and the NE Review, neither of which are available online.

      Also, I recently read a pre-“Then We Came to the End” Joshua Ferris story called “Mrs. Blue.” I loved it so much I made a photocopy of it at the library. I keep it in my folder of essential stories. You can find it The Iowa Review. Vol. 29, No. 2 (Fall, 1999), pp. 34-46, according to JSTOR, which offers a preview of the story.    

  26. Mahmoud

      Another Star by Ingvar Bjornsen –McSweeney’s 35. That whole issue was killer, but that may be the best short story I’ve ever read.

  27. Anonymous

      I’ll throw in another vote for “Mudder Tongue” by Brian Evenson.  That story knocked me on my ear.  

  28. Alex Estes

      The Street by Colm Toibin in McSweeney’s 36

  29. John Minichillo
  30. John Minichillo

      Pinckney Benedict’s “The Beginning’s of Sorrow”

      Not online but you can get the digital edition of Miracle Boy and Other Stories at Amazon for $3.33.

  31. Opal Castmin
  32. Annie Bilancini

      Can’t find a proper link, but Aimee Bender’s “The Color Master” chewed me up and spit me out a few times. Found it first in The Cincinnati Review, then again in My Mother She Killed Me My, Father He Ate Me.

  33. Rauan Klassnik

      blake butler’s coming of age story in an airport shuttle filled w/ doe-eyed clergymen

  34. Richard Thomas

      “The Paperhanger” by William Gay
      “Puppy” by George Saunders
      “Magic Words” by Jill McCorkle

      those pop into my head immediately

  35. Lazy Fascist

       Jeremy Robert Johnson’s “Persistence Hunting” from his collection We Live Inside You.

  36. Matt Margo
  37. Matt Margo
  38. barry graham
  39. mdbell79

      Mike Meginnis’s “The Navigators” is still probably my favorite new story from the last year, and it’s been almost a year since I read it.

  40. Andreas Lindhquist

      Well… best then for me will be Evenson’s Moran’s Mexico, in the collection

  41. Andreas Lindhquist

      … in the collection The Wavering Knife, but that was a while back, no so recent.
      Also Exhalation by Ted Chiang is really something.

  42. Anonymous

       “Home” by George Saunders in New Yorker June 13, 2011

  43. i am alt lit

      rip anything out of Scott McClanahan’s Stories V! and call it.

  44. Roxane


  45. shaun gannon

      3 years ago i read “brilliant science” by spencer holst in a flash fiction anthology and i had to stop because i started crying in a full lecture hall

      i still haven’t finished it

      it is the best story i have ever read

  46. Agnieszka's Shoes
  47. Andreas Lindhquist
  48. Anonymous

      “L’Anguille” by Jon Trobaugh in issue 4 of TRNSFR

  49. Anonymous

      “Multipls of Cohen” – Heidi Julavits

  50. Charles Tarane

      Screen Test, by Leslie Bazzett, in New England Review, Volume 32, #2.  (Last summer, I think.)  Stunner.

  51. Andreas Lindhquist
  52. Tyler Gobble
  53. Dawn West
  54. A D Jameson

       I love that one, too, Trey. I reviewed I Go to Some Hollow here.

      Cheers, A

  55. A D Jameson

      Thanks for all of these!

  56. Trey

      Oh sweet, thank you!

  57. A D Jameson

       Sure thing!

  58. Brian Mihok
  59. Luke

      “She-Male” by Alissa Nutting
      “The Monkey Handler” by Rachel B Glaser

  60. A D Jameson


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