Review of “Coolest American Stories 2022” by Mark Wish and Elizabeth Coffey

 

“Coolest America Stories 2022” by Mark Wish and Elizabeth Coffey

Editors Mark Wish and Elizabeth Coffey serve up the cream of the crop when it comes to the art of short story writing.

“Coolest American Stories 2022,” the first in what is expected to be an annual anthology, features thirteen diverse tales written by a bevy of capable creatives. These savory stories may vary, but they all have one thing in common, delicious tension told in energetic bursts. With stories from “Blacktop Wasteland” author S.A. Cosby, “Gone the Hard Road” author Lee Martin, “Palm Springs Noir” editor Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, and many more, “Coolest American Stories 2022” focuses on what matters most to readers–remarkable stories with memorable characters. These aren’t easy yarns to forget, starting with “Shepherd’s Hell” by Lori D. Johnson, in which Shepherd Gatekeeper faces a few personal demons in the form of his relationship with his dysfunctional family, particularly his drug-addled, basement-dwelling brother. John Jeffires brings us a tale of drugs, TV news, and car dealerships with his biting story, “Boss.” DeMarco-Barrett’s “Blue Martini” takes readers to the California desert and into some of the worst moments of Pepper Shannon’s life. Other contributors include D.Z. Stone, Megan Ritchie, Frances Park, David Ebenbach, Susan Tacent, Matthew Goldberg, Michael Hopkins, and Mary Taugher. Combined, they show readers how profound a short story can be.

Hip with heartfelt intrigue, moments of laugh-out loud-comedy, and acts of nail-biting suspense, “Coolest American Stories 2022’ is, well, the coolest.

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