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The Granta Book of the American Short Story: Volume One

Overview

Richard Ford, who is among the finest of American novelists and short-story writers, edits and introduces this volume. First published by Granta Books in 1992, it became the definitive anthology of American short fiction written in the last half of the twentieth century - an 'exemplary choice' in the words of the Washington Post - with stories by writers such as Eudora Welty, John Cheever and Raymond Carver (and forty others) demonstrating how much memorable power can lie in the briefest narration. Along with The...

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Overview

Richard Ford, who is among the finest of American novelists and short-story writers, edits and introduces this volume. First published by Granta Books in 1992, it became the definitive anthology of American short fiction written in the last half of the twentieth century - an 'exemplary choice' in the words of the Washington Post - with stories by writers such as Eudora Welty, John Cheever and Raymond Carver (and forty others) demonstrating how much memorable power can lie in the briefest narration. Along with The New Granta Book of the American Short Story, this book constitutes an important reflection and judgement of recent American writing - as well as the superb pleasure yielded by the stories themselves.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781847086792
  • Publisher: Granta Books
  • Publication date: 1/1/2012
  • Pages: 736
  • Sales rank: 538,459
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Ford

Richard Ford's story collections include Rock Springs, Women Without Men, and A Multitude of Sins. His novel Independence Day was the first novel to win both the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize. His latest novel, The Lay of the Land, was published in 2006.

Biography

Richard Ford lived with his parents in Jackson, Mississippi, until he was eight years old, at which time his father suffered a near-fatal heart attack. After that, he shuttled back and forth between his parents' home in Jackson and Little Rock, Arkansas, where his maternal grandparents managed a hotel. Ford describes his childhood as happy and contented -- at least until he was 16, when his father died and the young man began to seriously think about his future.

Although he attended Michigan State University with the vague intention of going into hotel management, Ford soon switched over to literature. After graduation, he married his college sweetheart, Kristina Hensley, but was having trouble settling on a career direction. He applied for several jobs (including the police and the CIA!) and even started law school. It was only after none of these panned out that he begin to consider writing for a living. On the advice of a former teacher, he applied to graduate school and was accepted into the University of California at Irvine, where he came under the happy, unexpected tutelage of Oakley Hall and E. L. Doctorow.

He began work on his first novel, the story of two drifters whose lives intersect on a desolate island in the Mississippi River. An excerpt appeared in The Paris Review, and the book was accepted for publication. In 1976, A Piece of My Heart was released to good reviews, but Ford bristled at being pigeonholed by critics as a regional writer. "I'm a Southerner, God knows," Ford said in an interview with the literary journal Ploughshares, "but I always wanted my books to exist outside the limits of so-called Southern writing."

In the early '80s, Ford's wife (who holds a Ph.D. in urban planning) was teaching at NYU, and the couple was living in Princeton, New Jersey. Disillusioned with novel writing, Ford took a job with the glossy New York magazine Inside Sports, but in 1982 the magazine folded, leaving him unemployed again. Tentatively he returned to fiction with the glimmer of a story idea based loosely on his most recent experiences. Several years in the making, The Sportswriter introduced Frank Bascombe, a middle-aged writer from suburban New Jersey who forsakes his promising literary career to pen articles for a glossy New York magazine. Published in 1986, the novel was named one of Time magazine's five best books of the year and was nominated for a PEN/Faulkner Award.

Ford claims that he never intended to write a trilogy around Frank Bascombe. But, in between other literary projects (including an acclaimed 1987 short story collection, Rock Springs), he found himself inexorably drawn back into the life of his melancholic protagonist. In 1995, the superb sequel, Independence Day, won both the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Then, in 2006, Ford concluded the saga with The Lay of the Land, a bittersweet set piece nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award.

Although Ford modestly maintained that the only reason he won the Pulitzer Prize was that Philip Roth had not written a novel that year, in fact his angst-ridden suburban Everyman Frank Bascombe ranks alongside Roth's Nathan Zuckerman (or, for that matter, John Updike's Rabbit Angstrom) as one of American literature's most unforgettable, richly drawn characters. For a man who stumbled into writing with very little forethought or design, Richard Ford has indeed come far.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      February 16, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Jackson, Mississippi
    1. Education:
      B.A., Michigan State University, 1966; M.F.A., University of California, Irvine, 1970

Table of Contents

 

A Day in the Open – Jane Bowles

A Distant Episode – Paul Bowles

Blackberry Winter – Robert Penn Warren

O City of Broken Dreams – John Cheever

The Lottery – Shirley Jackson

The View from the Balcony – Wallace Stegner

No Place for You, My Love – Eudora Welty

The Statue of Grace – Harold Brodkey

The Magic Barrel – Bernard Malamud

Good Country People – Flannery O’Connor

In Time Which Made a Monkey of Us All – Grace Paley

Sonny’s Blues – James Baldwin

Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time – Peter Taylor

Welcome to the Monkey House – Kurt Vonnegut,Jr

In the Zoo – Jean Stafford

A Poetics for Bullies – Stanley Elkin

Upon the Sweeping Flood – Joyce Carol Oates

The Indian Uprising – Donald Barthelme

In the Heart of the Heart of the Country – William Gass

A Solo Song: For Doc – James Alan McPherson

The Babysitter – Robert Coover

City Boy – Leonard Michaels

White Rat – Gayl Jones

Are These Actual Miles? – Raymond Carver

Train – Joy Williams

Fuge in A Minor – William Kotzwinkle

Here Come the Maples – John Updike

Pretty Ice – Mary Robinson

Testimony of Pilot – Barry Hannah

Greenwich Time – Ann Beattie

Lechery – Jayne Anne Phillips

Liars in Love – Richard Yeats

The Circling Hand – Jamaica Kincaid

Territory – David Leavitt

Bridging – Max Apple

Greasy Lake – T. Coraghessan Boyle

The Rich Brother – Tobias Wolff

American Express – James Salter

The Joy Luck Club – Amy Tan

The Fireman’s Wife – Richard Bausch

Hot Ice – Stuart Dybek

You’re Ugly, Too – Lorrie Moore 

The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien

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