Initially I was disappointed that the stories in this collection were written by famous authors and not by students of Gotham Writers' Workshop, because I liked the idea of supporting new writers. I guess some Gotham teachers just picked from the general pool of published short stories? Anyway, they made some excellent selections.
I especially liked "For a Long Time This Was Griselda's Story" by Anthony Doerr. It describes the very different life paths chosen by two sisters and makes you wonder whether one is better than the other. "After the Plague" by T.C. Boyle is a hilariously realistic post-apocalyptic tale in which the antisocial survivors of a plague really, really can't stand each other. "Crazy Life" by Lou Mathews was my favorite, though. This story explores the strange and complicated strength of a girl who takes care of the boy she loves, at one point saving him from going to prison, even though he doesn't give her much in return. By the end of "Crazy Life," I was full of new thoughts and free of answers. People always judge women with "bad taste" in men, but I couldn't find it in me to judge the protagonist of this story for staying with her boyfriend.
I want to write something like that!
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