Debra Spark,


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20 Under 30: Best Stories by America's New Young Writers

Fiction anthology.  Scribner's, 1986.  London: Penguin, 1987.  Italy: Loganesi, 1987.  Japan: Shobun Sha, 1987. Spain: Edicions 62, 1987.  Reissued as Twenty Under Thirty: Early Works from Today’s Influential Writers NY: Scribner’s, 1996.

In college and long before the Internet had connected us all, Debra Spark was curious about what writers her age wrote.  Not thinking anything would come of it, she decided to gather stories for an anthology of fiction by young writers.  She sleuthed through literary magazines, asked others for recommendations, and wrote her favorite writers for suggestions. The result was the (then-best-selling) 20 Under 30, published in 1986. Ten years later, the collection was reissued and marketed as featuring a new generation of writers, whom Bob Shacochis called “the master storytellers of the 21st century.” Now, 20 Under 30 stands as a record of the early efforts of baby-boomer writers, many of whom are currently major American writers, including David Leavitt, Susan Minot,  Lorrie Moore, Ann Patchett, and Mona Simpson.


“20 Under 30 should be patented—it’s that full of miraculous invention, incantation, and heartfelt reality.  This impressive anthology should be an annual event in American literature.”
Jayne Anne Phillips

“The wonderful thing about a good anthology of American stories rather than one author’s voice is that the reader hears a whole nation.  It shouts!  Each and every one of these authors in 20 Under 30 speaks with authority.  The after-effect of this collection is good goose bumps.”
Carolyn Chute

“… a wonderfully enjoyable reading experience.”
Philip Lopate, New York Times