The Paris Review Anthology


Venerable at 35 and justly venerated for its unequalled mix of fiction, poetry, interview and essay, the Paris Review remains the single most important little magazine this country has produced. A glimpse through the table of contents of this new compendium will demonstrate why; the editors have launched a thousand careers and consistently published the best work of some of the best writers of our time. —T. Coraghessan Boyle
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Venerable at 35 and justly venerated for its unequalled mix of fiction, poetry, interview and essay, the Paris Review remains the single most important little magazine this country has produced. A glimpse through the table of contents of this new compendium will demonstrate why; the editors have launched a thousand careers and consistently published the best work of some of the best writers of our time. —T. Coraghessan Boyle
A selection of representative fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from the Anthology from 1953 to present.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A cornucopia of fiction, poetry and prose from 35 years of the prestigious Paris Review , this rich collection comprises 187 items, many by award-winning authors, constituting a stunning array of literary strategies. Some of the stories by such authors as Evan Connell, Philip Roth and James Salter have attained the status of classics. Among the finest recent works, Rick Bass's ``Wild Horses'' entwines human sorrow with the suffering of animals; people who inhabit others' lives appear in Raymond Carver's ``Why Don't You Dance'' and Joy Williams's ``Making Friends.'' Skewed, offbeat humor and incendiary wit surfaces in tales by Steven Dixon, Thomas M. Disch and T. Coraghessan Boyle. Reminiscences/interviews feature excerpts from the famed Writers-at-Work series (``Portraits'' of, e.g., Yeats, Eliot, Faulkner and Frost); a profile of Lady Diana Cooper, author and friend of literary figures, by Shasha Guppy; and Bobby Anderson's riveting memoir of drug-addicted Edie Sedgwick, a doomed beauty in Andy Warhol's coterie. The diction of the poetry ranges from the tautly formalist to the magically charged, from the resilient accents of stylized speech to the intimately confessional. Arranged in five sections covering seven years each, the anthology conveys the sense that language is potent and redemptive; introductory notes are full of nuggets of literary and publishing history, and reflect the views of a succession of editors. (Mar.)
Library Journal
This anthology has historical as well as literary significance since it reminds readers how a new era in writing began. The Paris Review was founded in 1953 as a counterblast to what has been called the Age of Criticism; thus, almost all the 187 pieces in this collection are fiction and poetry, with essays about authors replaced by interviews with them. Editor Plimpton was in college during the Review 's early days, and while the magazine has retained its youthful intellectual curiosity over the years, it has kept something of youth's high-spirited silliness as well; the ultimate Paris Review story will always be Dallas Wiebe's ``Night Flight to Stockholm'' (included here), in which a writer literally gives his little finger to get published.-- David Kirby, Florida State Univ., Tallahassee
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393027693
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/28/1990
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Pages: 688
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.63 (d)

Meet the Author

George Plimpton was an American journalist, actor, editor, and writer. Well-known for helping to found The Paris Review and for his sports writing, Plimpton died from natural causes in 2003.


The scion of New England bluebloods who traced their ancestry back to the Mayflower, affable WASP George Plimpton was one of the 20th century's most beloved literary figures. Raised in Manhattan and educated at Phillips Exeter Academy, Harvard University, and King's College, Cambridge, Plimpton co-founded The Paris Review in 1953 and served as its editor and guiding light for the next half century. Under his stewardship, the journal became a showcase for serious fiction and poetry by new and emerging writers. It also introduced a new style of author interview emphasizing the creative process and the writer's craft. Called by Salman Rushdie "the finest available inquiry into the 'how' of literature," the Paris Review interview remains an integral part of the magazine.

In addition to these highbrow pursuits, Plimpton is also responsible for originating a popular literary genre. Gregarious and adventurous by nature, he followed his intellectual curiosity into Walter Mitty-like arenas, then chronicled his exploits—most of them noble failures—in works that came to be categorized as "participatory journalism." He sparred with heavyweight champ Archie Moore, pitched in an all-star exhibition baseball game, played percussion for the New York Philharmonic, and tried out for the circus. And although he was famous for lighthearted reportage (most notably Paper Lion, his sidesplitting 1966 account of training with the Detroit Lions football team), he proved his literary chops with well-received oral biographies of Edie Sedgwick and Truman Capote.

Instantly recognizable for his tall, lanky frame and upper-crust Brahmin accent, Plimpton was a popular fixture of the Manhattan literary and social scene. Upon his death in September, 2003, The New York Times recalled his "boundless energy and perpetual bonhomie." Five years later, Random House published George, Being George, an affectionate oral biography composed of anecdotes from more than 200 people who knew Plimpton in his many capacities. Editor and longtime Paris Review colleague Nelson Aldrich described the book as a "kind of literary party, George's last."

Good To Know

Like his grandfather and father before him, Plimpton enrolled in the prestigious New Hampshire prep school, Phillips Exeter Academy. He spent most of his time either in detention or on probation, and was finally expelled several months shy of graduation. The family was chagrinned, and Plimpton spent many years trying to atone for his failure. By the way, he graduated right on schedule from Daytona Beach High School!

Plimpton loved athletics, and much of the "participatory journalism" for which he's famous revolves around sports. He wrote books about his less-than-successful exploits in professional baseball (Out of My League), football (Paper Lion; Mad Ducks and Bears), golf (The Bogey Man), and hockey (Open Net).

He also loved fireworks and spent a lot of time with the Grucci family, whose Long Island-based company produced spectacular displays. He chronicled his longtime passion in the 1984 book Fireworks, and Mayor John Lindsay appointed him Fireworks Commissioner of New York, an unofficial title totally unrelated to government.

Plimpton made occasional forays into film, usually as an extra or in cameo appearances as himself.

A longtime friend of the Kennedy clan, Plimpton was with Bobby Kennedy in 1968 when the presidential candidate was assassinated. He also was in Norman Mailer's apartment the night the writer stabbed his wife.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      March 18, 1927
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, NY
    1. Date of Death:
      September 25, 2003
    2. Place of Death:
      New York, NY
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English Literature, Harvard University, 1950; Master's degree, Cambridge University, 1952

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