Catch up on a whole year’s worth of excellent fiction

Short stories are the sort of literary morsels that ordinarily require you to appreciate them on the fly, serendipitously — one from Harper’s here, one from The New Yorker there. Fortunately for us, we can make an entire meal out of the stories found in the very fine compendium The Best American Short Stories 2007.

Assembled by Stephen King, the collection is rife with well-known names (John Barth, Alice Munro) and some you might not have heard before (William Gay, Eileen Pollack). And the “best”-ness seems legit: The wildly engrossing stories include Loren Groff’s “L. DeBard and Aliette,” about a love affair between a girl in a wheelchair and an Olympic swimmer, and T. C. Boyle’s “Balto,” about a girl who gives devastating courtroom testimony against her father.

So on January 1, a few Advils and The Best American Short Stories 2007 might just be the perfect post-holiday escape.

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Catch up on a whole year’s worth of excellent fiction