Title: THE ANGEL ON THE ROOF: THE STORIES OF ...
Publisher: New York City, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2000
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: 1st Edition.
1st Printing. Signed. 506 pages. Published in 2000. Massive retrospective collection of short stories. Now considered a contemporary classic. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents, in one handsome volume, Russell Banks' "The Angel On The Roof". Some of the finest short stories written in our time. "Russell Banks offers readers an astonishing collection of thirty years of his short fiction, revised especially for this volume, enhanced by the inclusion of nine new stories that are among the finest he has ever written. As is characteristic of all of Banks' works, these stories resonate with irony and compassion, honesty and insight, extending into the vast territory of the heart and the world, from working-class New England to Florida and the Caribbean and Africa. Broad in scope and rich in imagination, affirms Russell Banks's place as one of the masters of American storytelling" (Publisher's blurb). A stunning achievemen. An absolute "must-have" title for Russell Banks collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in blue pen on the title page by Russell Banks. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. This title is a contemporary classic. This is one of few such signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A scarce signed copy thus. One of the finest writers of our time. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER RUSSELL BANKS TITLES IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 0060173963. Bookseller Inventory # 10342
Synopsis: The Angel on the Roof
After nine critically acclaimed novels, Russell Banks has firmly established himself as one of the great American novelists. But throughout his career Banks has also been a master of the short form, publishing four story collections, winning O. Henry and Best American Short Story Awards and other prizes, and contributing stories to such publications as Esquire, New American Review, Antaeus, Mississippi Review, and Partisian Review. Now, with The Angel on the Roof, Banks offers readers an astonighsing collection of thirty years of his short fiction. As is characteristic of all Banks's works, these stories resonate with irony and compassion, honsty and insight, extending into the vast territory of the heart and world, from working-class New England to Florida and the Caribbean and Africa. Along with nine new stories that are among the finest fiction he has ever written, Banks has selected the best pieces from his previous collections and revised them especially for this volume. Broad in scope and rich in imagination, The Angel on the Roof is a true representation of the breadth of Russell Bank's work and affirms his place on one of the masters of American storytelling.
Review: Russell Banks ( The Sweet Hereafter, Affliction) started out as a poet, and nowhere is this more evident than in his 37 years' worth of exquisite short stories, collected here in one hefty volume for the first time. In a mournfully lyrical phrase, he can evoke his characteristic landscape, the icy northeastern U.S.: "The air was crystalline, almost absent. The fields lay like aged plates of bone--dry, scoured by the cold until barren of possibility, incapable even of decomposition." Though his stories venture to Jamaica and Africa, Banks keeps coming back to New Hampshire and the themes of divorce, poverty, violence, and what he calls "the old father-and-son thing." He's not slumming in his trailer-park tales: his own drunken prole father beat him brutally, and Banks knows how grief and guilt shatter and unite families and small towns.
Characters often crop up in more than one story, giving the setting novelistic depth, drawing us into each life. In "Queen for a Day," we meet the young children of the Painter clan of New Hampshire as their dad is abandoning their mom, who then loses her job. "They run to her and wrap her in their arms... the three of them wind around each other like snakes moving in and out of one another's coils." In "Firewood," Painter's grown children rebuff his offer of fuel for their hearth, repaying his indifference, and Banks gives us a bad-guy's-eye view of their shared loneliness. In "The Fisherman," a $50,000 lottery is won by an old ice fisherman who stashes it in a cigar box, eliciting character-revealing reactions from the trailer-park denizens. "Dis Bwoy, Him Gwan" further reveals why the local pothead Bruce Severance so urgently needs the fisherman's money. The stories resonate and illuminate each other, the dialogue is pitch-perfect, and the collection has the cohesiveness of a 500-page novel. Banks's prose has the stark grace of classical tragedy. He's a poet after all. --Tim Appelo
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