America's most talented storytellers share their most courageous, compelling, unputdownable work in a collection made for story lovers.
Praised early on by Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk author Ben Fountain and The Weight of Blood author Laura McHugh, COOLEST AMERICAN STORIES is a new annual short story anthology whose guiding philosophy is that a collection of interesting "full meal" short stories could, as one @JustCoolStories Twitter follower put it, "make America cool again."
Toward this end, COOLEST AMERICAN STORIES 2022 features a previously unpublished story by the multi-major-book-award-winning author of Blacktop Wasteland S. A. Cosby; the timeless, previously unpublished short story that led Tina Brown to sign Frances Park's When My Sister Was Cleopatra Moon; and Pulitzer Prize finalist Lee Martin's heartfelt rendering of married life that apparently was too startling for the editors of several university-affiliated literary magazines.
And since interesting storytelling—rather than a list of publishing credits—matters most to story-hungry readers, COOLEST AMERICAN STORIES 2022 also includes a page-turner about dating in Hollywood written by MFA student Megan Ritchie; Brooklyn native D.Z. Stone's very first published fiction, a hilarious love story that celebrates the power of women; a heartbreaking account of adult siblinghood authored by David Ebenbach—among others in this treasure trove of unputdownable, sharply written stories loaded with twists and turns.
COOLEST AMERICAN STORIES founding editor Mark Wish, who has seen more than 125 of his short stories published in print venues such as Best American Short Stories and the Pushcart Prize anthology, now spends his time editing the short stories and novels of others and writing fiction of his own. Editor Elizabeth Coffey is VP of Interior Design at Random House, and, besides editing and designing COOLEST AMERICAN STORIES, is working on her first novel.
"Coolest American Stories 2022 is a helluva lot of fun. These stories bump and brim with rambunctious energy and show that the American short story is alive and well. Many thanks to Mark Wish and Elizabeth Coffey for this breath—or let's call it a gale—of fresh literary air." - Ben Fountain, winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award and the National Book Critics’ Circle Award, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
"Extraordinarily rich storytelling from fresh, vibrant voices—Coolest American Stories promises to be an annual force." - Laura McHugh, internationally bestselling author of The Weight of Blood and What’s Done in Darkness
"Love short stories? This collection is for you. Not yet sure how to feel about short stories? This collection is definitely for you. Whoever you are, wherever you are: read these stories!" - Lori Ostlund, Flannery O’Connor Award winner and author of After the Parade and The Bigness of the World