I am a big fan of Rebecca Makkai’s short stories. She was in Best American Short Stories four years in a row (2008-2011). Her work is consistently strong and interesting. You can read examples at Five Chapters and Nashville Review.
Her story “Cross” (Michigan Quarterly Review) stuck out to me because it’s about musicians–a topic I hope to address at some point in my writing–and because it has a happy ending. My stories tend to be not-so-happy, and I find happy endings difficult to pull off convincingly. This one was particularly nice because the story was not obviously one that would end well. Read it and see what you think.