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Weiben W. (Weiben) reviewed Prize Stories 1992 : The O. Henry Awards (Prize Stories (O Henry Awards)) on
From Publishers Weekly
These generally accomplished stories cannily convey modern sensibilities and anxieties. Perri Klass's hero, a writer in his late 40s, has a little trouble adjusting to his new, happy role as husband, father and stepfather, while Ann Packer's heroine, a single, 34-year-old advertising copywriter and survivor of a string of bad relationships, dreams about having a baby but can't think about having a husband. In a tale by Lucy Honig, students learning English as a second language come from various backgrounds but share a history of political oppression; the protagonists in a story by Mary Michael Wagner are paramedics who deal with heroin addicts, AIDS and burn victims as well as with their confusing feelings of love for each other; Kate Braverman depicts a recovering addict who, entranced by a man she meets at an AA session, is turned on again to cigarettes, booze and life on the edge. The two jewels in this collection are firmly grounded in the present but have a timeless quality: Tom McNeal protrays a hardworking, hard-playing farmer whose sense of self is destroyed when he learns that his mother abandoned him as a baby; and Cynthia Ozick limns a professional woman living in Manhattan who in her 50s decides to model her life after George Eliot's and looks for a George Henry Lewes to fulfill her.
From Library Journal
As a culture grows increasingly sensitive to the many voices that comprise it, it is essential that a venerable institution like Prize Stories (established in 1918 and edited by Abrahams for the last 26 years) attune itself to the many nuances of our national chorus. This latest volume does a skillful job of offering the best writing from a variety of fairly well-known magazines, which is to say that the stories are first-rate, even if there is a sameness to many of them. Certainly more experimental work would be welcome, but it is hard to imagine a reader who would not delight in the fiction of most of these 21 authors, including David Long, Les Myers, Kent Nelson, and the utterly magical Amy Herrick. Recommended.