The editors of “The Best American Short Stories 2023” selected “This Isn’t the Actual Sea” by Corinna Vallianatos, originally published by The Idaho Review in Issue 20, for this year’s prize anthology. Heidi Pitlor, the series editor, and Min Jin Lee, the guest editor and author of the highly acclaimed National Book Award Finalist “Pachinko,” chose the twenty stories that will appear in this year’s edition. “I was thrilled, and deeply grateful to both Min Jin Lee and Heidi Pitlor for seeing something in the story,” Vallianatos said. You can read her prize-winning story on The Idaho Review website here.
The Idaho Review, the annual literary journal of Boise State University’s MFA Program in Creative Writing, has published two pieces by the award-winning Vallianatos. Mary Pauline Lowry, the current editor of The Idaho Review, said, “‘This Isn’t the Actual Sea’ explores female friendship—as well as the vulnerabilities of making art and putting it out into the world—in ways I hadn’t seen before. It’s absolutely brilliant.”
One of the most prestigious annual prize anthologies, “Best American Short Stories” reprints the finest examples of the form. Each year, Heidi Pitlor and a guest editor select twenty of the best short stories out of thousands published the previous year in print and online journals. This will be the third reprint for The Idaho Review in “Best American Short Stories.”
“A conspicuously fantastic experience”
Corinna Vallianatos, a novelist and short-story writer, has published two stories with The Idaho Review. “Mitch Wieland and Mary Pauline Lowry and Ariel Delgado Dixon, who was an editor at The Idaho Review when I published my first story there a few years back, are perfectionists who’re charming and accessible all at the same time,” Vallianatos said over email. “Our conversations were filled with laughter and a sense of possibility. I sent Mitch a second story because I had had such a conspicuously fantastic experience the first time around.”
Vallianatos authored the short story collection, “My Escapee,” which won the 2011 Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction and was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Her stories have appeared in Tin House, McSweeney’s, A Public Space, and elsewhere, and she is the recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She lives in Claremont, California. Her next short story collection, “Origin Stories,” is forthcoming from Graywolf Press.