While all 20 stories are obviously written by talented authors, there were a few that stood out. Having grown up in Los Angeles and been a fan of baseball as a kid, Dagoberto Gilb's “Uncle Rock” was very identifiable as a young man comes of age at Dodger Stadium. Sam Ruddick's “Leak” is a humorous story the reveals the difficulties that can occur when juggling women. Steven Millhauser presents a paper on “Phantoms,” examining different case studies and explanations in an effort to better understand them. It's a thought-provoking piece. Every author offers reflections on their pieces for those who would like to learn more about them.
For fans of the short story, The PEN / O. Henry Prize Stories 2012 is a great smorgasbord of different writers that exponentially opens the possibilities of what may be inside. It's well worth exploring.