For decades The New Yorker
has kept the short story in America's literary consciousness. While the sales of novels have eclipsed those of short stories in the marketplace, short-story writers take comfort in the fact that each week their craft is showcased in the pages of one of the country's best-known publications. Now Roger Angell, a senior editor at The New Yorker,
has assembled a collection of stories by the likes of John Updike
, Alice Munro
, Woody Allen
, and Raymond Carver
. Culled from more than 30 years of issues, these stories are united by the theme of love, a term that covers a multitude of emotions: romantic love, platonic love, parental love, filial love, and love for mankind, not to mention lost love, twisted love, nostalgic love.... These 38 stories cover them all.
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From Publishers Weekly
Modern love in all its unpredictable reality unfolds in this delightfully unorthodox anthology of 38 New Yorker stories from the past three decades. Many of the selections are love stories only in the broadest sense, viewing love as an element inextricably woven into the fabric of characters' lives. For example, William Maxwell's "The Man in the Moon" explores the emotional effect over three generations of a once-prominent Midwestern family's scandals, self-deceptions and failures on the male narrator, now an elderly historian. In Daniel Menaker's "Influenza," a self-described "neurotic school-teaching Jew" at a posh private school in Manhattan spars with his hectoring Cuban Freudian analyst as he carries on a torrid affair with a wealthy, sex-starved, WASPish widow. Angell, a longtime senior editor at the New Yorker, adventurously brings together stories that delve into the diversity of love: a macho New Orleans 16-year-old's sexual confusion over a furtive homerotic kiss (Ben Neihart's "Hey, Joe"); an English adventurer's quasi-clinical investigation of eros as part of a 1920s surrealist circle in Paris (Julian Barnes's "Experiment"); a devoted May-December couple-she 35, he 78-bravely facing her terminal illness (Mary Robison's "Yours"). Some may feel the humorous entries (by Woody Allen, Ian Frazier and others) fall flat, and others may find the entire roundup of wry, fiercely observant stories too cerebral or unromantic. Yet there are strong selections from Ann Beattie, John Cheever, Raymond Carver, Edna O'Brien, V.S. Pritchett, Jean Rhys, John Updike and lesser-known writers. Timed to coincide with Valentine's Day, this quirky omnibus makes a funny Valentine indeed. Illustrated. Local Valentine's Day readings by contributors.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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