The Best American Short Stories 2009
The Best American Short Stories 2009

Mariner Books, 2009
368 pp., $19.99

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Reviewed by Linda McCullough Moore

What's the Story? Is This It?

The best American questions.

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"Often a reflection in the mirror, even if hideously accurate, stands as confirmation of existence, and this mere confirmation serves as hope—we are still alive in dark times," editor Alice Sebold writes. But reading this collection, it's hard to think this brand of hope has much appeal to the livers of these stories.

They say that Christians answer questions no one is asking. Certainly the questions here are not about Obama or abortion, nor women clergy or predestination. They are not asking How's the music at your church? or Would Jesus recycle? They are asking, Is He risen? Is He coming back again? Is this it? What's the story?

They are saying, loud and clear, Please tell us if you can. We need to know. We're dying. And yes, as we have long suspected, their questions hint that words might well be necessary when we answer.

Linda McCullough Moore lives and writes in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she is currently working on a book called "Theology: It's Not What You Think."

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