Astoria to Zion: Twenty-Six Stories of Risk and Abandon from Ecotone's First Decade
GOLD IPPY (INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER) IN THE ANTHOLOGY CATEGORY
In his introduction to The Best American Short Stories 2008, Salman Rushdie called Ecotone one of a handful of journals on which "the health of the American short story depends." Now at the close of an award-winning first decade, the magazine has established itself as a preeminent venue for original short fiction from both recognized and emerging writers, with more than twenty stories from sixteen issues reprinted or noted in the Best American, New Stories from the South, Pushcart, and PEN/O. Henry series.
With the publication of this anthology, Lookout Books makes a permanent home for the vital work of Ecotoneregular contributors Steve Almond, Rick Bass, Edith Pearlman, Ron Rash, Bill Roorbach, and Brad Watson, along with rising talents Lauren Groff, Ben Stroud, and Kevin Wilson, among others. In keeping with the magazine's mission to reimagine place, the collection explores transitional zones, the spaces where we are most threatened and alive. From a city fallen silent to a doomed nineteenth-century ship, from a startling birth in the woods to the bog burial of an adored archaeologist, from the loop of hair in a drowned trader's locket to the sanctity of pointy boots in a war zone, these stories make beautiful noise of our most fundamental human longings.
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About the Author
Rick Bass is a writer and environmental activist. Bass won the Story Prize for books published in 2016 for his collection of new and selected stories, For a Little While. He was a finalist for the Story Prize in 2006 for his short story collection The Lives of Rocks. He was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award (autobiography) for Why I Came West. He was also awarded the General Electric Younger Writers Award, a PEN/Nelson Algren Award Special Citation for fiction, and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.
Edith Pearlman's new and selected story collection, Binocular Vision, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award as well as the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Story Prize. The author of three other story collections, including the New York Times bestseller Honeydew, she has also received the PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in the short story. Her widely admired stories have been reprinted numerous times in The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and The Pushcart Prize. A New Englander by both birth and preference, Pearlman lives with her husband in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Ron Rash is the author of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner finalist and New York Times bestseller Serena and Above the Waterfall, in addition to four prizewinning novels, including The Cove, One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, and The World Made Straight; four collections of poems; and six collections of stories, among them Burning Bright, which won the 2010 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, and Chemistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award. Twice the recipient of the O. Henry Prize, he teaches at Western Carolina University.
Ben Fountain was born in Chapel Hill and grew up in the tobacco country of eastern North Carolina. A former practicing attorney, he is the author of Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Barnes & Noble Discover Award for Fiction, and the novel Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, winner of the National Book Critics' Circle Award and a finalist for the National Book Award. Billy Lynn was adapted into a feature film directed by three-time Oscar winner Ang Lee, and his work has been translated into over twenty languages. His series of essays published in The Guardian on the 2016 U.S. presidential election was subsequently nominated by the editors of The Guardian for the Pulitzer Prize in Commentary. He lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife of 32 years, Sharon Fountain.
"A killer short-story collection" --Gina Webb, Atlanta Journal Constitution
"A superb anthology that showcases short fiction by emerging and established writers. Twenty-six tales tightrope between defined and amorphous states, while characters go to extremes to test their agendas and circumstances both ordinary and bizarre . . . The breadth of the selected tales creates a satisfying and often enthralling collection that perfectly celebrates Ecotone's first decade." --Booklist
"There is a certain digital anxiety being acted out in this collection of fiction from Ecotone magazine's first decade, as well as a feeling of urgency, as if the need for a short story must be argued for here and now, guided by Ecotone's mission to reimagine the idea of place . . . The stories in Astoria to Zion recognize and struggle with the draw of the screen, which makes them all the more interesting and timely." --Harvard Review
"Astoria to Zion is a dazzling literary showcase of veterans and new voices, which offers all that readers have come to expect from Ecotone. While conjuring and exploring wildly varied places, this collection stakes out a stellar one of its own." --Jill McCorkle, author of Life After Life
"These stories care deeply about the physical world--sea, fire, city, countryside--but their concerns also press into every corner of existence--politics, love, regret, ambition. Heirs to Whitman, the collective voices are beautiful, soulful, crushing, and intelligent." --Rebecca Lee, author of Bobcat
"I started to say what a stellar and concentrated selection of stories compose this fine book, stories full of all of our hope and danger and unease, but I'm just going to offer this simple note: this is a book I'll hand to my friends when they want to know where the short story is thriving." --Ron Carlson, author of Return to Oakpine
"This collection is an emporium of sublime notions, glittering delights, and daredevil marvels. Twenty-six stories, each fantastically conceived and sensuously wrought, burnished and durable; a superb anthology, not to be missed." --Melissa Pritchard, author of Palmerino