Selected Shorts

Best American Short Stories 2021 with Jesmyn Ward

April 18, 2024

Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents two stories from the Best American Short Stories 2021 anthology selected by guest editor Jesmyn Ward. Both involve adolescents facing displacement or rejection, but the stories are set in very different environments: One takes place in a surreal, Soviet-occupied Afghanistan, and one inside a junior high school in Tennessee.  First, Leo Solomon reads “Playing Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain,” by Jamil Jan Kochai.  Then we hear “Biology,” a beautiful story by Kevin Wilson, performed by Mike Doyle.  And Ward comments briefly on her approach to creating this year’s diverse anthology. 

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