The Iowa Short Fiction Award was established in 1969 to provide a forum for the publication of a uniquely American literary form. Twenty years later the award, which provides $1,000 and the publication of an author's first collection of short fiction, has developed instant recognition as one the country's most prestigious literary awards. Throughout the history of the award, serious critical consideration has been guaranteed by such judges as Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Vance Bourjaily, Joyce Carol Oates, Doris Grumbach, Raymond Carver, Frederick Busch, Alison Lurie, and Robert Stone. Moreover, the Iowa Short Fiction Award has launched the careers of some of today's most respected writers.

This anniversary volume includes an outstanding story from each of the twenty-five winning volumes. Here is an intriguing mosaic of styles, offering a variety of personalities, perceptions, and observations. From cityscape to the heartland, seemingly ordinary situations to the unexpected, these stories reflect the talent, skill, and determination of their authors. Above all, here is the American short story as our most accomplished practitioners can do it.

"The Iowa series is one of our most valuable American literary traditions."—Joyce Carol Oates
"Congratulations to the University of Iowa Press on the twentieth anniversary of its short fiction series. Publications like yours have paved the way for the spectacular renaissance of the short story in America."—Stanley Elkin
"The Iowa Short Fiction Award is among the most prestigious literary prizes America offers."—New York Times Book Review
"…a respected prize that annually introduces readers to a writer whose work is little known outside the circle of literary magazines and university publications."—Chicago Tribune

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342 pages