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Nothing But You: Love Stories From The New Yorker [Paperback]

New Yorker Magazine
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 5 1998 Modern Library Paperbacks
Raymond Carver, Alice Munro, John Updike, Gabriel García Márquez, Mavis Gallant, Julian Barnes, Michael Chabon, Jamaica Kincaid, John O'Hara, Muriel Spark, Ann Beattie, and William Maxwell are among the contributors to Nothing But You: Love Stories from The New Yorker--assembled by Roger Angell, senior editor at The New Yorker. This is the first fiction anthology in more than three decades from the magazine that has defined the American short story for almost a century. As noteworthy for its range as for its excellence, Nothing But You features a stunning array of present and past masters writing about love in all its varieties, from the classic love story to dislocated narratives of weird modern romance. Taken separately, these stories suggest the infinite variety of the human heart. Taken together, they are a literary milestone, a comprehensive review of the way we live and love now.

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From Amazon

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing but blah Nov. 3 2002
Format:Paperback
Nothing But You: Love Stories from the New Yorker ed. by Roger Angell. Not recommended.
Earlier in 2002, I had read Victorian Love Stories: An Oxford Anthology edited by Kate Flint, a wonderful, imaginative anthology that covers the gamut of love, from earnest and longing to the impulsive and painful, from gritty realism to the fantastic and the supernatural. I had had Nothing But You for a while, and it seemed natural to read it as a follow-up to the Victorian anthology. This proved to be a mistake; the contrast between the two highlights the shallowness of the New Yorker stories.
There are a few gems, such as "Marito in Città" by John Cheever, "The Diver" by V. S. Pritchett, "Eyes of a Blue Dog" with Gabriel Garcia Marquez's magic surrealism, "The Kugelmass Episode" with Woody Allen's characteristic offbeat humour and angst, and "Here Come the Maples" with a touch of irony by John Updike. One story by a lesser-known writer, "In the Gloaming" by Alice Elliott Dark, stands out for beautifully conveying the tragedy of loss and alienation, not through death, but through the chains and barriers that life erects to prevent insight and truer love between the mother and son and between them and the distant, unloving father. Impending death finally begins to break down those barriers and reveal the humanity of mother and son to one another.
For the most part, however, these highlights are overwhelmed by the blandness of the rest of the selections. Somehow, this collection about "love" seems to miss many of love's elements-affection, depth of feeling, passion (depth of emotion of any kind), perception, dedication.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent theme, an excellent collection Dec 31 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is a really excellent book and should please anyone who likes short story collections and especially fiction from The New Yorker. Although I quibbled with the inclusion of certain stories and didn't like every one, it's hard for me to imagine a much better, broader, or satisfying range of stories on love than the one displayed in this volume. The book mixes many respected and famous authors with less established, newer ones, and I honestly can't say that the stories by either set of authors are better than the others.
My three favorite stories were Gabriel Garcia Marquez's classic "Eyes of a Blue Dog," John Cheever's previously anthologized "Marito in Citta," and Alice Munro's recent "The Jack Randa Hotel." Each of these stories, like most of the best stories in this book, works so well because it conveys the intensity and idealism and adventure of love but is also grounded in the concrete, mundane details of everyday life. Other standouts include Alice Elliott Dark's recent but already classic "In the Gloaming," Katherine Keiny's charming, Jane Austenish "How to Give the Wrong Impression," R. Prawer Jhabvala's culture-clashing "The Man with the Dog," Bobbie Ann Mason's hilarious and moving "Love Life," John O'Hara's piercing "How Old, How Young," Raymond Carver's Edgar Allan Poe-imitating "Blackbird Pie," and Mary Grimm's probing "We."
As the editor, Roger Angell, and other reviewers here have noted, the book is not all full of happy endings and is not even always about passionate love affairs per se, but the broad theme of love is the perfect motif to carry along a short fiction anthology, and this theme keeps you moving through the stories just as love in real life keeps you moving through the everyday ups and downs of being with a romantic partner. One of the best short story anthologies I've read in a while.
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4.0 out of 5 stars romance without the sugar coma Dec 29 2003
Format:Paperback
i bought this book for a particular story that i had heard one evening on selected shorts on npr. the name of the story was "how to give the wrong impression" by katherine heiny. it's a cute quirky little story. having been read aloud to me it was enough for me to buy the book and read the rest of the stories contained within by the other authors. i enjoyed woody allen's contribution. i never knew he wrote short stories....lol. there were a few favorites and others that linger on the edge of your mind for awhile. it's definitely worth picking up and looking at. there is certainly a story within to suit almost any taste in romance. i wish it were that easy in finding romance in real life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars In preparation for Valentine's... Jan. 30 1998
Format:Hardcover
I've been spending the past few months thinking about that "love"-thing. And this book seemed so appropriate I 1-clicked (TM) it. So far, it's been serving it's duty. The fiction is, of course, excellent: it's the New Yorker. But the take on that "love"-thing that Roger Angell has chosen to assume for the magazine is most definitely intriguing. There is quite an emphasis on the true "love" found in affairs, that marriage contains none, only some sort of "duty," that love be of the impassioned and impulsive nature that only those of a poet's constitution could afford.
So, basically, it did make me feel like crap; but what a read.
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