Susan Henderson is a recipient of an Academy of American Poets award, and the Managing Editor of Night Train. She recently helped to judge the "20-Minute Stories" contest at McSweeney's.

Recommended Reading:

Tim O'Brien
The Things They Carried

Denis Johnson
Jesus' Son

Aimee Bender
Girl in the Flammable Skirt
I love everything about this book--its unflinching look at war, the slipperiness of truth and how the stories are often more true when they are fictionalized, the heartbreak within victory and the tenderness within killing. He gets at every paradox that makes us human. I love how he finds gorgeous and tender moments inside moments you expect to be fierce and narcissistic. So very honest. What's so wonderful about Aimee Bender's stories is that no one else could think them up. They are quirky, imaginative tales that speak about isolation, miscommunications, and the hidden triumphs and heartbreaks in the most bizarre, unexpected actions.