Best Words of 2014


Tick-tock, and another year rolls off the clock. We asked our staff here at American Short Fiction what they were reading in 2014. Words, words, words, they said, and proceeded to specify. Here, in no particular order, are some of our favorite lines of literature from the past year, with a few rediscovered oldies thrown in for good measure. The Germans have a saying they like to share around this time of year: Guten Rutsch, they say, which means, good slide, as in slip easily into the new year […]

Jaimy Gordon Interviews Matthew Neill Null


“The Slow Lean of Time,” Matthew Neill Null’s sweeping account of the hazardous lives of the 19th Century drovers who steered giant logs down West Virginia’s rivers, contains what might be the most genuinely shocking moment of any short story I’ve read this year. This despite the fact that Null, whose story we were pleased to publish in Issue 57 of American Short Fiction, describes the world his characters inhabit from such a high vantage point that we see them as smallish players moving across an expansive historical landscape. […]

An Interview with Bret Anthony Johnston

Remember Me Like This_336x190

Bret Anthony Johnston has the distinction of being among the few writers occupying that slim but coveted slice of the Venn diagram: creative writing directors who have also been pro skateboarders. His latest work, Remember Me Like This, is a quiet and rich novel centered around a teenage boy named Justin who is returned to his family four years after his kidnapping. […]

Inside the Issue: An Excerpt from “Zone of Mutuality,” by Karl Taro Greenfeld


In “Zone of Mutuality,” the final story in Issue 58 of American Short Fiction, Karl Taro Greenfeld introduces us to Dwayne, a young man settling uneasily in to a perennial professional disappointment that threatens to swamp the rest of his life as well. […]

An Interview with Marie-Helene Bertino


I first met Marie-Helene Bertino last summer, when she was my workshop instructor at the One Story Workshop for Writers. In person, she is meticulous, charming, and bright. And her writing is the same. Her short story, “Carry Me Home, Sisters of Saint Joseph,” was first published in Issue 47 of American Short Fiction. Her second book, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas, will be published this August by Crown. […]

Inside the Issue: Tia Clark Reads from “Nutcracker”


Tia Clark’s story, “Nutcracker,” opens our current issue. Set in a Modell’s Sporting Goods store in one of New York City’s shabbier suburbs, the story is told in the sharp, funny, and frequently affecting voice of a teenaged girl trying to define herself at the edge of a brave new world of independence and sexuality. […]

ASF Reads