Top Five Stories: 2010–2011

The top five stories of the week from the past year demonstrate that literary excellence and intense emotional experiences don’t depend on length. In one short short story, two children look on as their mother faces a sudden life-threatening circumstance; and in another short short, love, politics, and desperation intertwine in a brief love affair. These pieces stand side by side with longer stories. In one a young French mother navigates the world of Paris intellectuals, with their complex ideas and casually passionate relationships; in another, a Soviet Jew competes in a chess tournament in Buenos Aires against Israelis, and the thought of defection tempts him. Together, these five stories represent vibrant work by emerging and established writers. We hope you enjoy them. Please share your comments in the Reader Comments area for each story.

If you would like to send a story for consideration as a Story of the Week, please see our guidelines. Each September the Top Five Stories are selected for special notice.

Congratulations to the winners. Each receives a $500 award.