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The O. Henry Prize Stories 2014 gathers twenty of the best short stories of the year, from thousands published in literary magazines. The winning stories roam the world, from Nigeria to Venice, from an erupting volcano in Iceland to a brothel in the old Wild West. They feature a dazzling array of characters: a young American falling in love in Japan, a girl raised by snake-handling fundamentalists, an old man mourning his late wife, a fierce guard dog with a talent for escape. Accompanying the stories are the editor's introduction, essays from the eminent jurors on their favorite stories, observations from the winning writers on what inspired them, and an extensive resource list.