Best of the West: New Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri, an annual anthology of exceptional short fiction rooted in the western United States, debuted in 1988 and continued publication until 1992. Recognizing that the West remains rewarding territory for literary explorations, James Thomas and D. Seth Horton revived the series in 2009.
Best of the West 2011: New Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri is the latest volume in what has become one of the nation's most important anthologies. Editors Horton and Thomas have chosen twenty stories by writers including Rick Bass, T. C. Boyle, Ron Carlson, Philipp Meyer, Dagoberto Gilb, Yiyun Li, Antonya Nelson, and Sam Shepard. Subjects vary from an Idaho family that breeds lions and tigers with disastrous results, to a Mormon veteran whose mind is taken over by a nineteenth-century consciousness, to a Texas boy who spends an afternoon with Bonnie and Clyde shortly before their deaths. Taken together, these stories suggest that the West has become one of the most exciting and diverse literary regions in the twenty-first century.