When Laura Furman began American Short Fiction in 1991, Thelma and Louise were leaping out over the Grand Canyon in their Ford Thunderbird and structured shoulders were in. Back then, the U.S. was pulling out of a desert in the Middle East and a young internet was storming the country. Michael Jackson sang that it didn’t matter if we were black or white, and Rodney King was beaten nearly to death in L.A. as we watched on our television screens.
Even as we danced in our garages in oversized plaid, feeling stupid and contagious, American Short Fiction was publishing Joyce Carol Oates, Dagoberto Gilb, Louise Erdrich and Charles Baxter. In 2006, after a long hiatus, the magazine returned under the generous guidance of the good people at Badgerdog Literary Publishing, Inc. As we take up the reins of American Short Fiction in 2013, we find ourselves repeatedly touched and honored: not only by the journal’s impressive history—its record of stories anthologized in Best American Short Stories, Best American Non-Required Reading, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and the Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses—but by the amount of respect, warmth, and goodwill awaiting the magazine upon its return, which speaks volumes for the talents of our predecessors.
Welcome back to American Short Fiction. We will continue the tradition of publishing great fiction by new and established voices: stories that dive into the wreck, that stretch the reader between recognition and surprise, that conjure a particular world with delicate expertise—stories that take a different way home.
In the coming months, we’ll be working hard on the next issue, relaunching our website and blog and furiously reading submissions. Please stick around as we do—we love your company.
—ADEENA REITBERGER & REBECCA MARKOVITS, EDITORS
Austin, TX 78765