Thursday, December 18, 2008

Best of The New Yorker fiction, 2008

In this post titled "2008: The Year in Fiction", the magazine editors (?) select their 12 choice pieces from this year - all supposedly online (but 1 is actually not online).

Since my original free fiction feed began picking up The New Yorker fiction may be a month back, I've been noticing normally 1 new fiction piece every Monday (but there was a week when there were 2 stories). So these are 12 selections from over 50 stories during the year.

Two of the stories are clearly science fiction - Jonathan Lethem's "Lostronaut" (download) that received a lot of publicity in sf blogosphere last month, & Rivka Galchen's "The Region of Unlikeness" (download) (included in Horton's "Science Fiction: Best of the Year, 2009 Edition").

Among this list are also 2 stories set in South Asia:

  1. Daniyal Mueenuddin's "A Spoiled Man"; download: Apparently set in Pakistan.
  2. Hari Kunzru's "Raj, Bohemian"; download: I cannot off hand guess the location.
The year also saw at least one more story from the magazine set in the region - Daniyal Mueenuddin's "In Other Rooms, Other Wonders" (download). This one is set in Lahore, Pakistan - apparently sometime in late 1940s or early 1950s. Except for the fact that the author seems to think Lahore is in India, it's a good story.

PS: The year also saw at least one good non-genre story in Playboy (US) set in South India (I think Mysore) - Tony D'Souza's "The Cook". India seen from the eyes of 3 Americans (one of them a sadist), & set probably half a century back. It's an interesting illustration of how cultural lens can color what you see - author usually (but not always) gets the data right but interpretation often completely at odds with what an Indian would see.