Kevin Brockmeier has published six books of fiction, including the recent story collection The View From the Seventh Layer. He lives in Little Rock, also the former home of Elton and Betty White, whom he profiled for our 2008 Southern Music Issue.
The way I listened to music began to twist on me, becoming less theatrical, more interior... A time came when I needed to be spoken to more than I needed to speak. And that was when I found Iris DeMent.
Several rules: (1) I have listed these stories in alphabetical order by the author’s last name, rather than in order of preference—though I have marked each of my ten favorites with an asterisk. (2) I have chosen no more than one story (or in a few cases one novella) per author. (3) I have tried to be honest, which is why there are so many contemporary English-language stories on this list, as well as so many stories by science fiction writers, magic realists, and assorted other fantasists.