Books: Windows into Life

Despite persistent rumors, short stories are far from dead. This summer they're in full bloom

Every decade or so someone, somewhere, proclaims short fiction irrelevant and passe. In his introduction to The Best American Short Stories of the Century, out last spring, John Updike lamented the diminished importance of the genre during his lifetime, adding later, in an interview with that Americans turn to celebrity anecdotes instead for narrative lessons on how we live. "In a way," Updike reflected, "you could argue that the National Enquirer is the real successor to Story magazine."

Of course anyone who has spent even 50 seconds pondering cultural habits in the '90s will agree that the decision to pick...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!