World Socialist Web Site wsws.org 12 Mar, 2021 04:45 am

<em>The Best American Short Stories 2020</em>: The state of mind of a certain social layer

<em>The Best American Short Stories 2020</em>: The state of mind of a certain social layer
The stories in BASS 2020 were selected by novelist Curtis Sittenfeld (born 1975), a supporter of Hillary Clinton whose most recent work is Rodham (2020), an alternate history political novel.

The stories in BASS 2020 were selected by novelist [Elizabeth] Curtis Sittenfeld (born 1975), a supporter of Hillary Clinton whose most recent work is Rodham (2020), an alternate history political novel about a Hillary who does not marry Bill Clinton and becomes America’s first female president.Some other themes explored, or at times simply presented, in BASS 2020 include adolescent sexual desire, adolescent bullying, adolescent identity, artificial intelligence, childhood friendship, adult loneliness and aging.Notably absent from BASS 2020, perhaps with rare exceptions, is any serious examination of wealth inequality, class struggle, nationalism, militarism, war, dislocation, authoritarianism or unemployment, though these matters urgently demand careful thought and artistic representation in contemporary America.” In that one sentence crackles more social consciousness than is to be found in many of the stories in BASS 2020.

Nevertheless, the writers in BASS 2020 are talented.Boyle is on hand in BASS 2020 with “The Apartment” a pleasing, old-fashioned story in which a man strikes a bargain with an old woman to buy her apartment en viager, taking possession only when she dies.

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