Program Details

Book Club: Best American Short Stories from the Turn of the 21st Century

Christine Kassover

Course Description

Travel back in time as we read and discuss a celebration of some of the best short stories between the 1990s and 2010. We will examine the lives of some of America's most recognized authors and the influences of the time on their writings. Before each session, participants will read two to three selections from "100 Years of the Best American Short Stories," edited by Lorrie Moore and Heidi Pitlor. Then, during each session, we will analyze and discuss how authors' choices have changed over the years and the forces that have shaped those changes; world and national events, political developments, and social movements will all be viewed through the lenses of some of our most distinguished literary voices. Together, we will uncover what it has meant to be an American through prose at the turn of the 21st century that explore aging, gender, immigration, racism, war, and more. Space is limited.


  1. Short Stories/Writers from the 1990s: "Friend of My Youth" by Alice Munro, "The Girl on the Plane" by Mary Gaitskill, and "Xuela" by Jamaica Kincaid.
  2. Short Stories/Writers from the 1990s: "If You Sing Like That for Me" by Akhil Sharma, "Fiesta" by Junot Diaz, and "The Third and Final Continent" by Jhumpa Lahiri.
  3. Short Stories/Writers from the 2000s: "Brownies" by ZZ Packer, "What You Pawn I Will Redeem" by Sherman Alexie, and "Old Boys, Old Girls" by Edward Jones.
  4. Short Stories/Writers from the 2000s: "Refresh, Refresh" by Benjamin Percy, "Awaiting Orders" by Tobias Wolfe, and "What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank" by Nathan Englander.

About the Instructor

  • Christine Kassover is an Instructor and tutor at FAU and Palm Beach State College specializing in English for Academic Purposes reading and writing and higher education verbal test preparation. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from FAU's College of Education. She received her Bachelor's degree in communication from FAU and her Master's in communication from the University of Miami. Committed to continuing her involvement in the FAU community, she served as president of the FAU National Alumni Association for two terms and was a founding member of the Parliament of Owls.