Synopses & Reviews
From the #1 bestselling author of Me Talk Pretty One Day
and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
comes a collection of the short stories David Sedaris loves most. Containing the work of both contemporary and classic writers, Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules
, edited and introduced by Sedaris, gives his legions of fans a glimpse at the writing he finds inspiring and helps them discover the truth abut loneliness, hope, love, betrayal, and certain, but not all, monkeys.
David Sedaris fell in love with short stories while living in Odell, Oregon. Sedaris writes, "When apple-picking season ended, I got a job in a packing plant and gravitated toward short stories, which I could read during my break and reflect upon for the remainder of my shift. A good one would take me out of myself and stuff me back in, outsized, now, and uneasy with the fit." Featuring such notable writers as Alice Munro, Tobias Wolff, Lorrie Moore, and Joyce Carol Oates, readers will reconnect with classics, as well discover fantastic but lesser-known writers.
Included in Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules are:
- Introduction by David Sedaris
- "Oh, Joseph, I'm So Tired" by Richard Yates
- "Gryphon" by Charles Baxter
- "Interpreter of Maladies" by Jhumpa Lahiri
- "The Garden Party" by Katherine Mansfield
- "Half A Grapefruit" by Alice Munro
- "Applause, Applause" by Jean Thompson
- "I Know What I'm Doing About All the Attention I've Been Getting" by Frank Ganno
- "Where the Door Is Always Open and the Welcome Mat Is Out" by Patricia Highsmith
- "The Best of Betty" by Jincy Willett
- "Song of the Shirt, 1941" by Dorothy Parker
- "The Girl with the Blackened Eye" by Joyce Carol Oates
- "People Like That Are the Only People Here: Canonical Babbling in Peed Onk" by Lorrie Moore
- "Revelation" by Flannery O'Connor
- "In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried" by Amy Hempel
- "Cosmopolitan" by Akhil Sharma
- "Irish Girl" by Tim Johnston
- "Bullet in the Brain" by Tobias Wolff
- Epilogue by Sarah Vowell
Borrowing the book's name from an Adriaen van der Werff painting, Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules is David Sedaris's attempt to share his passion for short stories with a wider audience and his enthusiasm is contagious. "The authors in this book are huge to me, and I am a comparative midget, scratching around in their collective shadow. 'Pint sized Fanatic Bowing Before Statues of Hercules' might have been more concise, but people don't paint things like that, and besides, it doesn't sound as good."
David Sedaris is publishing this book to support 826NYC, a nonprofit tutoring center in Brooklyn, New York. All of his proceeds, after permission expenses, from Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules will benefit this organization designed to help students ages six to eighteen develop their writing skills through free writing workshops, publishing projects, and one-on-one help with homework and English-language learning. In the book's epilogue, Sarah Vowell describes the fine work done by 826NYC.
"David Sedaris distills short story writing down to the essentials with his selection for Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules. These are stories that have fueled his passion for literature, solid tales from an eclectic mix of writers, both old classics and new. And while youre reading, your money is doing good work: as a plus, the proceeds benefit 826NYC." Tin House magazine
"[A]n A-list anthology of [Sedaris's] favorites...a collection that will seduce readers heretofore resistant to the form, and induce fellow short story lovers to nod in pleased recognition." Booklist
A must-have for the fans of the #1 bestselling author of Me Talk Pretty One Day
, David Sedaris, a collection of his favorite short fiction from Flannery O'Connor to Tobias Wolff.
A bestseller in its own right and a must-have for fans of the #1 bestselling author David Sedaris, a collection of his favorite short fiction.
David Sedaris is an exceptional reader. Alone in his apartment, he reads stories aloud to the point he has them memorized. Sometimes he fantasizes that he wrote them. Sometimes, when they’re his very favorite stories, he’ll fantasize about reading them in front of an audience and taking credit for them. The audience in these fantasies always loves him and gives him the respect he deserves.
David Sedaris didn’t write the stories in Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules . But he did read them. And he liked them enough to hand pick them for this collection of short fiction. Featuring such notable writers as Lorrie Moore, Alice Munro, Joyce Carol Oates, Jean Thompson, and Tobias Wolff, Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules includes some of the most influential and talented short story writers, contemporary and classic.
Perfect for fans who suffer from Sedaris fever, Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules will tide them over and provide relief.
About the Author
David Sedaris is publishing this book to support 826NYC, a nonprofit tutoring center in Brooklyn, New York, designed to help students ages six to eighteen develop their writing skills through free writing workshops, publishing projects, and one-on-one help with homework and English-language learning. Sedaris is the author of the internationally bestselling Barrel Fever, Naked, Holidays on Ice, Me Talk Pretty One Day, and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.