The Best American Short Stories 2021 is a collection of twenty stories edited by Jesmyn Ward and selected for their literary quality. The stories contemplated queerness, gender, race, and class all in intrinsically unique and bold ways. I was completely enamored with six of the stories, many of them focusing on what it means to be gay or queer. These stories were ‘Good Boy’ by Eloghosa Osunde, ‘Palaver’ by Bryan Washington, and ‘Biology’ by Kevin Wilson. I was also enthralled by the voices and storytelling of ‘Playing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’ by Jamil Jan Kochai, ‘The Miracle Girl’ by Rita Chang-Eppig, and ‘The Rest of Us’ by Jenzo Duque. Overall, the collection was strong, poignant, contemplative, and tender.
Final Rating: 4.5/5
Maxwell Suzuki is a writer, poet, and photographer based in Los Angeles.