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Overview

Whether Julie Hayden is describing a child astonished at his new perceptions, a distraught woman walking on Fifth Avenue with her concealed liquor flask or a pair of lovers on a country picnic, her writing is ardent and precise, placing us at the center of their lives, their destinies. These stories (all but two appeared originally in The New Yorker), with their distinctive clarity, show us in a fresh way how pain and joy turn into knowledge.
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The Lists of the Past

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Overview

Whether Julie Hayden is describing a child astonished at his new perceptions, a distraught woman walking on Fifth Avenue with her concealed liquor flask or a pair of lovers on a country picnic, her writing is ardent and precise, placing us at the center of their lives, their destinies. These stories (all but two appeared originally in The New Yorker), with their distinctive clarity, show us in a fresh way how pain and joy turn into knowledge.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Hayden has a sharp eye, unexpectedly at the service of a tender heart; in her stories are innumerable sentences that will make smile, many sentences that will make you laugh aloud, and at least one sentence that even the most cynical readers will be unable to finish without tears.” —Brendan Gill
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781940436005
  • Publisher: Pharos Editions
  • Publication date: 5/15/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 220
  • Sales rank: 786,425
  • File size: 998 KB

Meet the Author

Ten of these stories were originally published in the pages of The New Yorker, where Julie Hayden worked for 16 years before her death at age 42.

Cheryl Strayed is the author of #1 New York Times bestseller Wild, the New York Times bestseller Tiny Beautiful Things, and the novel Torch. Wild was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as her first selection for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 and optioned for film by Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Pacific Standard. Wild was selected as the winner of the Barnes & Noble Discover Award, the Indie Choice Award, an Oregon Book Award, a Paciifc Northwest Booksellers’ Award, and a Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Award. Her books have been translated into twenty-eight languages around the world. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and their two children.
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Read an Excerpt

Introduction by Cheryl Strayed

It began as things do these days: with a Facebook post. My friend the poet Cate Marvin wrote of her admiration for a writer I’d never heard of, a woman named Julie Hayden. Cate had assigned one of Hayden’s stories to the students in her college class. When I emailed her and asked her to tell me more, she responded with an urgent tone, imploring me to read Hayden’s work, and included a link to a New Yorker fiction podcast of Lorrie Moore reading Hayden’s story “Day-Old Baby Rats.” The story had been published in the New Yorker in January 1972 and three years later it was collected in Hayden’s only book—the long out-of-print The Lists of the Past.
I clicked play and listened. I sat very still and half held my breath. I was rapt.
In the silence that followed the last line of the story I typed writer Julie Hayden into my computer’s search function and was immediately lead to the illuminating essay by S. Kirk Walsh that is reprinted here (it was originally published in the Los Angeles Review of Books). Walsh’s piece begins with a retelling of a story essentially like my own—the almost accidental discovery of a writer who had all but been forgotten. Like me, Walsh was stunned. But more, she was compelled to dig deeper. In moving, sad, fascinating detail, Walsh shares details of Hayden’s short life that she was able to glean after interviewing Hayden’s younger sister, Patsy Hayden Blake, as well as Elizabeth Macklin, Charles McGrath, and Daniel Menaker, Hayden’s colleagues at the New Yorker, where she was employed for twelve years in the 1960s and 1970s.
A graduate of Radcliffe, the daughter of a poet who was both popular and esteemed—her mother, Phyllis McGinley won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry in 1961 for her book Times Three—Hayden committed herself to fiction writing early on, taking notes about the things she felt and observed and crafting stories. In 1970, when Hayden was 31, the first story in this volume, “Walking With Charlie,” appeared in the New Yorker and in the four years that followed another nine of her stories—all of them in this collection—were published there. They, along with two previously unpublished stories, compose The Lists of the Past, which was published by The Viking Press to critical acclaim in 1976.
The acclaim was well-deserved. Hayden’s stories are unlike anything I’ve ever read. Her writing is original and bold, plainspoken and poetic, haunting and profound, merciless and tender. There’s a cavernous loneliness at the core of her work—one that echoes the difficulty of her short life, no doubt—but also a vast beauty, one that I believe must also reflect her inner world. It’s this intelligent, emotional depth and breadth that ultimately convinced me to select this book for re-issue in The Pharos Editions. Hayden isn’t just a dazzling writer. She’s one who has done the real work of great literature: she has shown us to ourselves. She has reminded us again and anew what it means to be human.
Hayden died of kidney failure at the age of 42, five years after The Lists of the Past was published. By then she’d suffered the death of her mother, breast cancer, alcoholism and a long struggle with anxiety that grew debilitating in the final years of her life. What remains is this book, born again in your hands. I hope you’ll treasure it.

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