Things American: Ken Kesey, Hunter S. Thompson and the Hell’s Angels at La Honda: August 7th, 1965


Fifty years ago today, Ken Kesey, not yet thirty and already the author of two acclaimed novels, invited the members of the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang […]

Online Fiction Interview: David Naimon


David Naimon‘s “The Battle” is an oddball buddy tale of sorts set in a Black Sea bunker in some not-too-far-off future. The stakes are high—international tensions run deep as global warming has opened the arctic to shipping lanes—and Sergei, Naimon’s protagonist, is charged with monitoring the progress of Russian submarines as they stake claims on […]

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 […]

Bourbon and Milk: Truth Flags, Secret Knowledge, and the Need to Sometimes Stomp Around, Raise Your Voice and Carry the Television Out to the Garage


Last year, with a nod towards the thankfulness many of us associate with the holidays—a thankfulness steeped in both the warmth and the insanity of family—I dedicated a holiday season Bourbon and Milk (which you can read here) to literary parents and their children. […]

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