Between the two of us (and Betsy is nearly 100%), Betsy and I read and posted thoughts on every New Yorker story this year. Here are our six favorites. You’ll notice Betsy and I diverge quite a bit (and though I didn’t post on each of her favorites, I have read them all). How on earth, I say, did Betsy leave off the best story of the year, William Trevor’s “The Women”? Ha! Please let us hear your favorites and tell us where we’re wrong!
My picks are probably not surprising to followers of the blog. With the exception of Murakami (that I liked his story surprised me), these are authors I have been favoring for a long time. I did not pick these stories because they are by these authors; I honestly feel they wrote the best stories that appeared in The New Yorker this year.
- “The Women,” by William Trevor
- “The Bear Came Over the Mountain,” by Alice Munro
- “All Ahead of Them,” by Tobias Wolff
- “Bad Dreams,” by Tessa Hadley
- “Summer of ’38,” by Colm Tóibín
- “Samsa in Love,” by Haruki Murakami
The best New Yorker short story of 2013, except that it was published in 1999, is Alice Munro’s “The Bear Came Over the Mountain.”
Special Mention: in the marriage and commitment category (about twenty stories), the mind-bending “All Ahead of Them,” by Tobias Wolff, rocked.
As for my picks for the six best stories of 2013:
Three of this year’s New Yorker stories address how atrocity and betrayal among ethnic or political groups endure in the national memory, sometimes for centuries:
Two stories explored how the neglect and abuse of children results in adults who are frozen in place:
The best story investigated the effects of automated war on its participants:
As I am sure you can see, I selected my “Six Best” for their timeliness, psychology, and vision. Check out the list of all 52 stories. I am sure your short list is just as serious, but different. We would love to hear from you.