Lust, Violence, Sin, Magic: Sixty Years of Esquire Fiction

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Sixty years since its founding by Arnold Gingrich, Esquire continues to publish stories by some of America's finest writers. This anniversary volume, edited by the current fiction editor, contains work by early contributors such as Ernest Hemingway and Irwin Shaw as well as material by more contemporary authors like Tim O'Brien and Ethan Canin. The stories are conveniently grouped into four thematic categories: lust, violence, sin, and magic. While Esquire has always been a men's magazine, some women have found it a hospitable place to publish, and stories by Jayne Anne Phillips, Gail Godwin, Flannery O'Connor, and Louise Erdrich enrich and enliven this collection. Recommended for all libraries.-- William Gargan, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., CUNY
Joe Collins
Easily one of the best short fiction collections of this or any other year. All the selections here have appeared in "Esquire" and are topped off by Ernest Hemingway's masterly portrait of a dying man on safari, "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," which Papa submitted to the magazine because he hadn't prepared the agreed-upon nonfiction piece. The selections run the gamut from familiar writers, such as Irwin Shaw and F. Scott Fitgerald, to more obscure authors, such as Barry Targan, whose hilariously triumphant fable, "Harry Belten and the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto," is reprinted here. Other highlights include Leslie A. Fiedler's twisted commentary on the literati, "Nude Croquet"; Stanley Elkin's scarifying portrait of an angry man, "I Look Out for Ed Wolfe"; Jayne Anne Phillips' moving tale of a sister's love, "Bess"; gritty yarns of army life in Vietnam and elsewhere from Norman Mailer, Tobias Wolff, and Tim O'Brien; and John Updike's witty take on the power of suggestion, "The Rumor." There are several other pieces here just as compelling, and readers will choose their personal favorites, but overall, this collection is a great celebration of one of our purest art forms--telling a good story.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871135520
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/1/1993
  • Pages: 608

Table of Contents

Introduction
Lust
August Afternoon (Autumn 1933) 3
The Eighty-Yard Run (January 1941) 11
Among the Paths to Eden (July 1960) 24
Very Happy Poems (January 1962) 35
The Lover (July 1973) 56
Bess (August 1984) 64
American Express (February 1988) 75
Something to Remember Me By (July 1990) 93
Serious Need (November 1990) 119
Violence
The Snows of Kilimanjaro (August 1936) 127
A Snake of One's Own (February 1938) 148
The Language of Men (April 1953) 157
Nude Croquet (September 1957) 166
I Look Out for Ed Wolfe (September 1962) 196
Neighbors (June 1971) 220
A Sorrowful Woman (August 1971) 226
Heart of a Champion (January 1975) 232
The Quarterback Speaks to His God (October 1978) 239
Soldier's Joy (October 1985) 259
The Things They Carried (August 1986) 277
Flight (August 1986) 294
Sin
An Alcoholic Case (February 1937) 301
Two Legs for the Two of Us (September 1951) 309
The Death of Justina (November 1960) 318
Parker's Back (April 1965) 328
His Son, in His Arms, in Light, Aloft (August 1975) 346
Rock Springs (February 1982) 363
Steady Hands at Seattle General (March 1989) 382
The Rumor (June 1991) 386
My Mother's Lover (July 1992) 397
Accountant (May 1993) 411
Magic
The Remobilization of Jacob Horner (July 1958) 451
Black Angels (December 1964) 468
Harry Belten and the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto (July 1966) 474
Blacaman the Good, Vendor of Miracles (January 1972) 499
Horse Badorties Goes Out (September 1973) 507
The Illustrated Man (October 1973) 516
Return to Return (October 1975) 528
Human Moments in World War III (July 1983) 553
Fleur (August 1986) 567
Strays (July 1988) 580
Acknowledgments 587
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