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News from the World: Stories and Essays

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News from the World: Stories and Essays Cover

ISBN13: 9780393081282
ISBN10: 0393081281
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Review-A-Day

"News from the World is a slim collection of stories and essays written over the course of Paula Fox's long, distinguished career. Hailed by Jonathan Franzen as one of the best novelists of her generation, Fox provides a glimpse, in these short works, into the sensibility and craftsmanship that has earned her such a devoted following. Most characteristic of her work is her unusual capacity to treat human suffering with unflinching precision. This is especially evident in her treatment of a theme that recurs throughout the volume. In stories ranging from an account of her relationship with her brother-in-law, art critic Clement Greenberg, to one about a man's visit to his dying, estranged father, Fox meditates on various forms of alienation with subtlety and attention, revealing the ways in which this state always implies a desire for belonging. As her characters strain toward and away from intimacy, Fox wrests insight from bleakness, exposing an unlikely hopefulness lurking within experiences of alienation." Dawn Marlan, The Oregonian (Read the entire Oregonian review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This complete gathering of Paula Fox's short works spans forty-five illustrious years of her career, from 1965 to 2010. There are perfectly turned stories (two of which — "Grace" and "The Broad Estates of Death" — won the O. Henry Prize) in which characters unexpectedly find themselves at a crossroads and struggle to connect with others.

There is memoir — a genre where Fox's honesty, grace, and perception set her apart — in which Fox revisits childhood ideas about art and reality, life in New York in the 1960s, and her relationship with her husband's family. And there are essays — pointed, funny, relentlessly persuasive pieces on such topics as censorship and the corruption of language. Enlivened by Fox's signature wit and electrified by her unsparing insights into human nature, News from the World is essential for Fox's loyal readers and perfect to introduce those who are meeting her for the first time.

Review:

"Though the original publication dates of the work compiled for this collection span from 1965 to 2010, many of the personal narratives included cover an even wider swath of Fox's life, making for a delightful read. An insightful and sturdy writer, Fox (Desperate Characters) remains humble, curious, and thoroughly likable across decades and genres. While the story 'The Broad Estates of Death,' published in Harper's in 2004, will be wonderfully familiar to many readers, her essays often seem even more original and telling. Particularly poignant is 'Way Down Yonder,' in which Fox recalls moving to New Orleans in 1940 and the writer couple from whom she rented a room. In it, we see the city, the segregation, and the early inklings of Fox's own life of letters. Equally captivating is the remembrance of a gay friend whom Fox met while she was a single mother in Manhattan, working as a teacher. With such a rich life history from which to draw, Fox is both wholly singular in her perspective and as knowable and trustworthy as a favorite neighbor. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"Paula Fox's essays and short stories all display a spare, marvelous luminosity. The author's irreducible voice — it was the same with Virginia Woolf — can always be heard, whatever the genre." Tom Bissell

Synopsis:

A collection that traces the celebrated career of a grande dame of contemporary literature.

About the Author

Paula Fox is the author of Desperate Characters, The Widow's Children, A Servant's Tale, The God of Nightmares, Poor George, The Western Coast, Borrowed Finery: A Memoir, and News from the World, among other books. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

anncameron2009, May 23, 2011 (view all comments by anncameron2009)
This book is a gem, in its spareness and exactness close to poetry. As Robert Frost said of poetry, it's "a momentary stay against confusion." An extremely moving, varied and witty collection, it sometimes seems strikingly prophetic as in the title story, "News From the World." The pieces range far in both time and location, from memoirs of Fox's experiences in New Mexico and Poland in the 1940s to narratives of present-day New York City.

In "Grace," the crabbed New York bachelor, Harry, finds himself increasingly isolated because he can't stop poking holes in his friends' psychobabble and sentimentality, which they use as a shield against deeper feelings. In his loneliness, Harry writes letters of protest to the New York Times about abuse of language--which in the end, as Fox makes clear, diminishes our awareness.

Here's Harry's complaint about a review that describes a novel's heroine as 'street smart.'

"This is a superficially snappy but meaningless cliché that trivializes reality...On the street, the truth is that people stumble about in confusion and dismay even when they are making a fortune selling illegal drugs. People are smart for only a few minutes at a time."

Each short piece in this wonderful collection has more wisdom than commonly found in a dozen novels. Fox's acute and liberating attention to how we humans really are -- often horrifying, but also funny in our pretensions and poignant in our loneliness -- leads the reader to feelings of joy and transcendence.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780393081282
Author:
Fox, Paula
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
20110431
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
216
Dimensions:
8.25000 x 5.50000 in

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Related Subjects

» Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

News from the World: Stories and Essays Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$12.50 In Stock
Product details 216 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393081282 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Though the original publication dates of the work compiled for this collection span from 1965 to 2010, many of the personal narratives included cover an even wider swath of Fox's life, making for a delightful read. An insightful and sturdy writer, Fox (Desperate Characters) remains humble, curious, and thoroughly likable across decades and genres. While the story 'The Broad Estates of Death,' published in Harper's in 2004, will be wonderfully familiar to many readers, her essays often seem even more original and telling. Particularly poignant is 'Way Down Yonder,' in which Fox recalls moving to New Orleans in 1940 and the writer couple from whom she rented a room. In it, we see the city, the segregation, and the early inklings of Fox's own life of letters. Equally captivating is the remembrance of a gay friend whom Fox met while she was a single mother in Manhattan, working as a teacher. With such a rich life history from which to draw, Fox is both wholly singular in her perspective and as knowable and trustworthy as a favorite neighbor. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review A Day" by , "News from the World is a slim collection of stories and essays written over the course of Paula Fox's long, distinguished career. Hailed by Jonathan Franzen as one of the best novelists of her generation, Fox provides a glimpse, in these short works, into the sensibility and craftsmanship that has earned her such a devoted following. Most characteristic of her work is her unusual capacity to treat human suffering with unflinching precision. This is especially evident in her treatment of a theme that recurs throughout the volume. In stories ranging from an account of her relationship with her brother-in-law, art critic Clement Greenberg, to one about a man's visit to his dying, estranged father, Fox meditates on various forms of alienation with subtlety and attention, revealing the ways in which this state always implies a desire for belonging. As her characters strain toward and away from intimacy, Fox wrests insight from bleakness, exposing an unlikely hopefulness lurking within experiences of alienation." (Read the entire Oregonian review)
"Review" by , "Paula Fox's essays and short stories all display a spare, marvelous luminosity. The author's irreducible voice — it was the same with Virginia Woolf — can always be heard, whatever the genre."
"Synopsis" by , A collection that traces the celebrated career of a grande dame of contemporary literature.
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