Ann Patchett on her selection:
I picked this story when I was the editor of Best American Short Stories in 2006. Katrina Kenison, who was the series editor, was a huge Edith Pearlman fan and gave me a lot of choices. The hardest part was choosing just one. When the book came out we picked three stories to read at the launch party and hired three actors, but the day before the woman who was supposed to read "Self-Reliance" had to cancel. It was my big break. I sat in my hotel room in Boston and read the story twenty times. I have never enjoyed a reading so much. Because of that I became very bonded to Edith and her work. I wrote an introduction to her new and selected stories Binocular Vision and promoted it hugely. The book went on to win the National Book Critics Circle Award. I don't think anything in my life has ever made me so happy.
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