Synopses & Reviews
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 writers 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
"A selection of fiction culled from the influential journal's archive with a twist: writers often featured in the journal's pages Lorrie Moore, David Means, Ann Beattie, Wells Tower, Ali Smith, among others offer brief critical analyses of their selections, elevating this book from a greatest hits anthology to a kind of mini-M.F.A. Sam Lipsyte's take on Mary Robison's 'Likely Lake' is as much a demonstration of the economy of powerful writing as the story itself and Ben Marcus's tribute to Donald Barthelme's 'magician... language' in 'Several Garlic Tales' illustrates how learning can occur when one writer inhabits another writer's mind to geek out over what they both love. If the essays are uneven, the stories almost never are, ranging from the widely read (Ethan Canin's 'The Palace Thief') to the unexpected (Mary-Beth Hughes's bleakly funny 'Pelican Song'). The editors call this a guide for young writers and readers interested in literary technique, and the book achieves that purpose while also serving as a tribute to the role the Paris Review has played in maintaining the diversity of the short story form. The collection reminds us that good stories are always whispering into each other's ears." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
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.