This edition of Walter Van Tilburg Clark’s collection of short stories—which includes “Hook,” Clark’s most renowned story—makes these pieces available again to a new generation of readers.
Critic John R. Milton once said that Walter Van Tilburg Clark "did perhaps more than anyone else to define (in his fiction) the mode of perception, the acquisition of knowledge, and the style which we tend to call Western." In 1950, Walter Van Tilburg Clark, author of the acclaimed novel The Ox-Bow Incident, published a collection of short stories that had already won distinction in various national magazines. The collection was well received by reviewers, and subsequent critics have noted that these stories reflect both Clark’s literary power and the major concerns of his novels: the interior and intuitive complexities of good and evil, and the fragile, intricate web that connects humankind to the rest of the natural world.
A foreword by Ann Ronald, one of the West’s most astute literary critics, sets the stories into the context of Clark’s oeuvre and illuminates the way they reveal crucial characteristics of this writer’s imagination.