Death, that ending of all endings, is the shared concern of these stories, which have been chosen from among the hundreds that have appeared in the prestigious Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction series. More than seventy volumes, which include approximately eight hundred stories, have won the Flannery O’Connor Award. This stunning trove of always engaging, often groundbreaking short fiction is the common source for this anthology on death–and for planned anthologies on such topics as work, family, animals, children, and more. Most of the expected ways by which we take our leave are covered here: accident, murder, suicide, illness, old age. Perhaps less expected is how, in these stories, a matter we’d rather not think about becomes the stuff of fiction so compelling that we can’t stop thinking about it. How can something so final and certain spread so much ambiguity in its wake? What did we think of the departed, and what did they think of us? How long will they be around—in our hearts and heads–even after they’re gone? How will we forgive those who may have caused the death of a loved one? These fifteen stories give us many new ways of looking not only at death but at the lives that must go on in its aftermath.