Tartts : Incisive Fiction From Emerging Writers

ed. Joe Taylor and Others

ISBN: 0-930501-25-X Trade Paper $14.95               Sale $7.50       


ISBN: 0930501241 Library Binding $25                     Sale $12.50


158 Pages

 Excerpt From the Book:

A Prerambling

There I lay, recovering from a flu shot,
when I thought
So, if no one is buying short story collections anymore
So, if most large publishers or even mid-list publishers
wonít publish them anymore,
So, if no one is reading them anymore,
So how come so many of these entries are so damned good?
No one can play piano or guitar very well without listening to
pianists or guitarists,
And a great many of these stories and entries exceed ďvery well.Ē
So, did the Muse drop in to visit these authors in a vacuum?
I think not.

And, so, I continued to . . . ahem . . . muse,
If this Tartt First Fiction Contest, a new kid on the block,
Can attract such well-versed authors,
Arenít there plenty more out there in America-land?
And didnít they all get well-versed by being well-versed?
More so, in America, land of stop-and-grab-and-go,
How can it be that readers wouldnít / couldnít like short stories?
The original plot-, character-, emotion-, and thematic-quick-fix?

Well, a friend tells me that John Barth told him
(Note the lovely removal of ownership)
That itís because slick magazines have dropped the story,
So people are no longer accustomed to reading short stories.
Or, maybe itís television and video games.
Some even blame the plethora of college writing programs.
So, with enough paint thinner we could paint America blue.
A rather meaningless and hard-to-verify blue, itís true. . . .
At any rate, Sherlock Holmes (speaking of short stories) is long gone.

So, instead of looking for reasons, should we question the premise?
No, I can affirm from Livingston Pressís minuscule experience:
Novels versus story collections by single authors run 10 to 1 in sales.