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The Stories of Alice Adams

Adams, Alice

116 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0375412859 / ISBN 13: 9780375412851
Published by Alfred a Knopf Inc, Westminister, Maryland, U.S.A., 2002
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Stories of Alice Adams

Publisher: Alfred a Knopf Inc, Westminister, Maryland, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition.

Book Type: Book

About this title


Twenty-five of her stories appeared regularly in The New Yorker within a ten-year period. Others were published in The Paris Review, Atlantic Monthly, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, and McCall's. Her work was included in twenty-three O. Henry Award collections, and she received first prize six times; she was represented in numerous collections of Martha Foley's Best American Short Stories.

Now the best of Alice Adams's short fiction is gathered in one volume-fifty-three stories that illumine the hidden workings of human relationships. In "Verlie I Say Unto You," the unexpected death of Verlie Jones's lover reveals the unsettling truth about her employers-that, though they "couldn't get along without" Verlie, their maid of ten years, she is nothing more than a stranger to them. In "Berkeley House," a disenfranchised daughter anguished over the sale of her childhood home finally succeeds in winning the house back, only to discover that it does not hold the key to her happiness, and perhaps never did. In "Greyhound People," a woman repeatedly, and purposely, takes the wrong bus home from work after meeting its warm and disarmingly candid cast of passengers, a refreshing and life-changing break from the coldly polite company she finds on the "right" bus-and at home.

In story after story, insight joins with grace to show us the truth about the lives of people around us. A moving and elegant collection and the capstone to the brilliant career of one of the most beloved American writers of our time.


The late, great Alice Adams mastered the art of the short story. In the posthumous collection The Stories of Alice Adams, Adams masters something more significant in the genre--the backstory, the carefully realized context in which a story is able to unfold. In the 53 stories collected here, Adams moves effortlessly between the current thread of the situation and the past circumstances that allow it to happen in the first place. Nearly all of her carefully drawn characters look back at their lives, or at someone else's life, as if to reconstruct what makes a particular person unique. A group of friends awaits a newly widowed husband in "Waiting for Stella," and in their suppositions about his grief and tardiness, the dead woman comes back to life as a prominent character. Adams weaves youth, age, past, and present together seamlessly; she darts in and out of people's heads in a restaurant, as in "At the Beach," so that they wonder about each other thoroughly but never interact. In this stellar compilation, Adams revels in the glories and oddities of the human condition and distills the very essence of how we live. --Emily Russin

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