The yearly anthology of the O. Henry Prize Stories is one of the most important short story collections of the year. The requirement for consideration is that your work must have been published in an American or Canadian publication. I really like the way the collections are done and the secondary articles in which the judges talk about their favorite short stories.
"My Duck is Your Duck" by Deborah Eisenberg is the lead story in the collection. It was my first exposure to her work and I will, hopefully be reading more of her work soon. The central character, a woman, is a struggling painter. She tells the story and she is interesting, perceptive,and intelligent. I don't want to tell much of the plot. She is invited to come stay at the island retreat of a hyper-wealthy family that admires her work. Everything about the story is intriguing. It is about a lot of things. The nature of art, the exploitive nature of the rich, the decay of many local cultures caused by intrusions, big business and much more. There is a puppet show master also staying there