Huge congrats to the authors whose ASF stories were recognized as notables, or distinguished reads, in the most recent Best American Short Stories and Best American Non Required Reading anthologies.

Things American: Egyptian Revolution Reading


There was something slightly unsatisfying about the classes on the politics and history of the Middle East that I took as an undergraduate. Something about the texture of life? The truth beneath the truth? I couldn’t articulate that feeling, but I picked up Naguib Mahfouz’s The Cairo Trilogy, a dense family epic that spans the two world wars. I didn’t put it down for two weeks […]

Things American: Sonallah Ibrahim’s Fiction of Politics and Emptiness


I first came across Sonallah Ibrahim when I was living in Cairo in 2011. My partner and I had hired a tutor to study Egyptian short fiction. Our Arabic, while functional, is by no means solid enough to embark on the task of reading an entire novel, but short stories were manageable. One evening, over cups of loose tea, we stammered through the opening of one of Ibrahim’s more recent novels, Stealth.

Things American: NFL Preview


Welcome to American Short Fiction’s NFL Preview. To mark the beginning of the 16-week season, we’ve asked writers and editors from around the country to comment on the their teams, through the filter of fiction. Follow the links to see who gets the Barry Hannah treatment and which team is more like Joan Didion’s […]

ASF Alumni: Jean Thompson


Since Jean Thompson was first published in American Short Fiction in the Winter 1993 issue, her short story collection Who Do You Love was nominated for The National Book Award, and in 2002, her novel, Wide Blue Yonder), was named a New York Times Notable Book and Chicago Tribune Best Fiction selection. Her newest novel, The Humanity Project (Blue Rider Press, March 2013) […]

What We’re Reading


At the close of each month, we ask members of our ASF staff to share books that have recently graduated from their TBR piles, along with a GIF that relates to their experience of the book, in whatever way.

ASF Reads