Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New Yorker Fiction 2009

This year I got to about 50 percent of the fiction in the New Yorker, same as last year. Here were my top ten favorites, in chronological order:

Al Roosten, by George Saunders—a classic Saunders tale of a morally mixed-up fellow

Wiggle Room, by David Foster Wallace—an excerpt from the forthcoming, posthumous Pale King (post)

She's the One, by Tessa Hadley—a young woman in the wake of her brother's suicide (post)

Vast Hell, by Guillermo Martinez—buried secrets in a small Argentinean town

The Slows, by Gail Hareven—a thought-provoking piece of speculative fiction

Good Neighbors, by Jonathan Franzen—the title is ironic (see also)

Idols, by Tim Gautreaux—a darkly humorous homage to Flannery O'Connor (post)

Rat Beach, by William Styron—a soldier awaits his day of reckoning

War Dances, by Sherman Alexie—a funny and beautiful story about a man and his father (post)

Victory Lap, by George Saunders—a surprisingly violent story told from multiple perspectives


Trevor said...

Ahh, just saw the link to this on the Millions. For the first time I produced a 2009 year in review of The New Yorker fiction, a great project. Several of our favorites coincide, though I think my favorite may have been Chris Adrian's "A Tiny Feast."

Petter said...

No link to your spreadsheet here? Or more to the point...is the "rating" in the spreadsheet your personal assessment, or something else?

framiko said...

Trevor: Cool! I just looked at your review. Very nice.

Petter: The rating is indeed my personal assessment. Just a way to make myself think a bit about each story after I'm done. If you're curious about my criteria for stories, check out this post.

As for the spreadsheet, you can find it via this post at The Millions. Which is probably where most of you came from in the first place...

Ryan said...

Hi, there. I looked up your spreadsheet via The Millions site and it may have overlooked one short story of Roberto Bolaño ("Last Evenings on Earth") which appeared in the double issue of December 26, 2005 & January 2, 2006. This brings a total of 6 Bolaño stories as of end of 2008, instead of 5 stories as reflected in the summary by the numbers in 2009 & 2010. The New Yorker archive erroneously lists it as "Gómez Palacio."

framiko said...

Thanks, Ryan. I noticed the same thing just recently when I read this post. I must have neglected to type in the Bolaño story along with the four others published in that international fiction issue. I've corrected the error in my personal file, but the one posted at The Millions is still incorrect.

Anonymous said...

That same post alerted me too! I was actually trying to find that title story some time back as it was listed in the book's (Last Evenings on Earth) copyright page that "Last Evenings on Earth" was first published in The New Yorker. But nothing came up with the archive search but "Gomez Palacio," which I ignored.

Ryan said...

Ooops. That was me above. :)