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Twenty contemporary authors introduce twenty sterling examples of the short story from the pages of The Paris Review. What does it take to write a great short story? In Object Lessons, twenty contemporary masters of the genre answer that question, sharing favorite stories from the pages of The Paris Review. Over the course of the last half century, the Review has launched hundreds of careers while publishing some of the most inventive and best-loved stories of our time. This anthology---the first of its kind---is more than a treasury: it is an indispensable resource for writers, students, and anyone else who wants to understand fiction from a writer’s point of view. "Some chose classics. Some chose stories that were new even to us. Our hope is that this collection will be useful to young writers, and to others interested in literary technique. Most of all, it is intended for readers who are not (or are no longer) in the habit of reading short stories. We hope these object lessons will remind them how varied the form can be, how vital it remains, and how much pleasure it can give."—from the Editors’ Note WITH SELECTIONS BY Daniel Alarcón · Donald Barthelme · Ann Beattie · David Bezmozgis · Jorge Luis Borges · Jane Bowles · Ethan Canin · Raymond Carver · Evan S. Connell · Bernard Cooper · Guy Davenport · Lydia Davis · Dave Eggers · Jeffrey Eugenides · Mary Gaitskill · Thomas Glynn · Aleksandar Hemon · Amy Hempel · Mary-Beth Hughes · Denis Johnson · Jonathan Lethem · Sam Lipsyte · Ben Marcus · David Means · Leonard Michaels · Steven Millhauser · Lorrie Moore · Craig Nova · Daniel Orozco · Mary Robison · Norman Rush · James Salter · Mona Simpson · Ali Smith · Wells Tower · Dallas Wiebe · Joy Williams
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Established in 1953, The Paris Review is America’s preeminent literary magazine.Lorin Stein is the editor of The Paris Review.
Sadie Stein is deputy editor of The Paris Review. They are not related.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Joy Williams’s Dimmer
Joy Williams is one of those unique and instantly recognizable storytelling voices, capable of finding the mysterious and magical heart within even the most ordinary human acts. Her stories begin in unexpected places, and take surprising turns toward their eventual end. She doesn’t describe life; she exposes it. She doesn’t write scenes, she evokes them with a finely observed gesture, casually reinterpreted to provide maximum, often devastating, insight:
He had straddled the baby as it crept across the ground as though little Mal were a gulch he had no intention of falling into.
The baby in this startling image is Mal Vester, the unlucky and unloved protagonist of “Dimmer.” He is a survivor, but there is no romantic luster to his suffering. Mal is rough, untamed, stricken, desperate, and alone. His father, who never wanted him, dies in the first sentence; his mother, the only person who loved him without restraint, dies in the second. Her death haunts this beatiful, moving story, right up until the very last line; but what keeps us reading to the end is the prose, which constantly unpacks and explains Mal’s unlikely world with inventive and striking images. Williams has done something special: she makes Mal’s drifting, his lack of agency, narratively compelling. Life happens to Mal; it is inflicted upon him, a series of misfortunes that culminate in his exile. (A lonelier airport has never appeared in short fiction.) Mal never speaks, but somehow, I didn’t realize it until the third time I’d read “Dimmer.” I knew him so well, felt his tentative joy and fear so intimately, it was as if he’d been whispering in my ear all along.
Copyright © 2012 by The Paris Review
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Book Description Picador, 2012. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: " The Paris Review is one of the few truly essential literary magazines of the twentieth century-and now of the twenty-first."-Margaret Atwood Praise for The Paris Review Interviews "The interviews are literary landmarks, and the gossip, humor, ideas, and practical advice dispensed are bracing."- San Francisco Chronicle "The most remarkable and extensive interviewing project we possess. A series of excursions, alternately purposeful and capricious, with side trips, stops for tea, and mystifications."- The New York Times "Utterly absorbing. fascinating and often quite funny."- The Boston Globe Praise for The Paris Review Book for Planes, Trains, Elevators, and Waiting Rooms "The contents are an embarrassment of A-level literary riches."-Robert Knox, The Boston Globe. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_1250005981
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