Bruce Allen’s essay, “American Short Fiction Today,” was published in NER 4.3 (1982):
It has for several years now been part of the conventional critical wisdom that the American short story is flourishing. Evidence of this abounds and abounds. Issue after issue of “quality” magazines and maverick small-press operations showcase strikingly distinctive, technically well-crafted stories. The Updikes and Cheevers and Peter Taylors—Still publishing regularly, still at the top of their game—are being crowded and challenged by endless hordes of talented newcomers. It’s an exciting time to be a reader.