The Oxford Book of American Short Stories edited by Joyce Carol Oates: This volume offers a survey of American short fiction in 59 tales that combine classic works with 'different, unexpected gems', which invite readers to explore a wealth of important pieces by women and minority writers. The reader will also delight in the range of authors found here, from Charles W. Chesnutt, Jean Toomer, and Sarah Orne Jewett, to William Carlos Williams, Kate Chopin, and Zora Neale Hurston. Contemporary artists abound, including Bharati Mukherjee and Amy Tan, Alice Adams and David Leavitt, Bobbie Ann Mason and Tim O'Brien, Louise Erdrich and John Edgar Wideman. Oates provides fascinating introductions to each writer, blending biographical information with her own trenchant observations about their work, plus a long introductory essay, in which she offers the fruit of years of reflection on a genre in which she herself is a master. This then is a book of surprises, a fascinating portrait of American short fiction, as filtered through the sensibility of a major modern writer. Books will be available at the Circulation Desk one month prior to the books discussion.