Among the most engaging new books I’ve perused in recent months are C.K. Williams’s Selected Later Poems — beautifully intricate, contentious, strikingly ardent poems by one of our great contemporary poets; The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, edited by Bill Henderson — a treasure trove of contemporary American writing, fiction, poetry, non-fiction that should be required reading for new and emerging writers; 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories — a wonderfully idiosyncratic collection assembled by Lorrie Moore containing little-known stories by classic writers and with an emphasis upon the very new; and Tracy Daugherty’s meticulously researched, warmly sympathetic biography of Joan Didion, The Last Love Song.
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