An all-new volume—students and lovers of literature take note: this is serious writing that's fun to read. Responding to America’s love affair with the short-short, editors Robert Shapard and James Thomas searched thousands of books and magazines to select these sixty stories—each under 2,000 words, each with its own element of surprise, whether traditional, experimental, humorous, moving, or magical. In the process they discovered both new talents and a wealth of celebrated writers, such as Jorge Luis Arzola, Aimee Bender, Teolinda Gersao, Romulus Linney, Yann Martel, Sam Shepard, and Tobias Wolff. Zdravka Evitmova conjures blood drops that cure any disease. Ian Frazier writes public relations for crows. Juan José Milás leads an amnesiac husband to an affair in the candlelit darkness of a cathedral with his wife. These tales told quickly offer pleasures long past their telling.