The Writer's Trade: And Other Stories

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1990 Hardcover Good Some notes in pencil jacket First Edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Delbanco writes with sympathy, irony and parodistic glee about the absurdities and perils of being a writer in a largely uncaring world. Each of these nine incisive stories centers on writers: a tenure-seeking Skidmore prof (``His Masquerade''), a randy 77-year-old memoirist (``And with Advantages''), a young first novelist flushed with success and ego (``The Writer's Trade''), a puffed-up celebrity novelist (``Palinurus''). As these wordsmiths exchange shoptalk, their lives careen out of control, plagued by divorce, frustrating lack of recognition or the corrupting bait of success. Delbanco, himself a novelist ( The Sherbrookes Trilogy ) and author of a previous short story collection ( About My Table ), crams each tale with the minute particulars of the writer's life. These mundane details are the raw stuff his protagonists transmute into creative gold, as they devour the lives of their closest kith and kin in search of material. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Life is long and art is short in these nine stories about creativity. The writers' problems seem insuperable: his craft isolates and empties him. He exists more as an eye, a voice, or an ear than as a whole, resonant human. Some of Delbanco's writers gain fame early, some cumulatively, but all are trapped in a Beckett-like cosmic nightmare in which the dreamer (read writer ) cannot but must go on. Whether novelist, poet, or scholar, all slip below their aspirations, especially as lovers, husbands, and friends. The stories are neatly--almost transparently--structured, the settings (mostly Eastern, with a few islands to highlight isolation) sharply drawn, the dialog often almost stagily epigrammatic. The characters are distressingly alike in their discontent. Would that at least one had discovered some real joy in life or art.-- Arthur Waldhorn, City Coll., CUNY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688047320
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/1/1990
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 264

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