The Ten Best Living Short Story Writers

by Patrick on May 23, 2008

May is National Short Story Month. I didn’t know this until recently. Why doesn’t National Short Story Month get the same attention as National Poetry Month? I suspect it’s due to the powerful poetry lobby in Washington. Just you wait until John McCain gets rid of their insidious influence, then the short stories will finally get their due!

In honor of the National Short Story Month, I thought I’d compile a list of the Ten Best Living Short Story Writers (according to me):

1. Lorrie Moore
2. Stuart Dybek
3. George Saunders
4. Denis Johnson
5. Amy Hempel
6. John Updike
7. Dan Chaon
8. Mary Gaitskill
9. Thom Jones
10. JD Salinger

Writers I haven’t read enough of but who probably deserve to be on the list: Aimee Bender, Tobias Wolff, Ann Beattie, Edward P. Jones, David Foster Wallace. I happen to like AM Homes’ novels better than her stories. I’ve never cared for Alice Munro, but I’m willing to give her another try. I think I’ll never be able to like William Trevor as much as the editors at The New Yorker do.

Waiting for more evidence: Ander Monson. Sam Lipsyte. Edan Lepucki.

Honorable mention in a special category: Adrian Tomine.

Who would you have on your list? Post it in the comments.