Honorable Mention, 2006 The Society of Midland Authors Adult Fiction Award
For decades, Richard Stern has been acclaimed as one of the American masters of the short story. Almonds to Zhoof: Collected Stories brings together for the first time forty-nine of Stern's best short works and novellas-from "Dr. Cahn's Visit," which The New Republic praised as "the very best very short story in the English language," to classics like "Teeth" and "Wanderers."
Stern's stories-witty, moving, always full of energy-never sacrifice storytelling to mere elegance or wandering wisdom. This collection demonstrates Stern's astonishing ability to portray people from all walks of life, their flawed relationships to ideas, their sometimes bizarre relationships with lovers and friends, their often brilliant, if skewed, appraisals of themselves. The stories always reflect an abiding compassion for his characters whoever they are and whatever their origins. All exist within the politics and workplaces and bedrooms of the real world. All are incorrigibly human.
Hailed as a literary relative of Kafka and Poe by his Italian and Cuban contemporaries, Calvert Casey and his enthralling work have until now remained eclipsed in the United States. This collection brings all of Casey’s powerful short stories and a fragment of an unfinished novel to an English-speaking audience for the first time. Exploring the human condition through poetically unique yet torturous views of the mind, Casey was a renegade artist whose work perceives reality as a smoke screen behind which Truth is hidden. He intended his fiction to disturb and subvert standard, plot-driven views of life. Born in the United States, Casey was raised in Cuba and spent most of his life there and in Europe. He chose Spanish as his primary artistic tongue. A member of the intelligentsia surrounding Castro in the early years of the revolution, he was eventually exiled—and in 1969 committed suicide in Rome at the age of forty-five. Although most of his luminous stories are set in Havana, his is not a touristy, picturesque landscape but an often strange and nightmarish theater of human passions, inhabited by figures—silhouettes, really—that live on the edge of normality. This volume, which showcases Casey’s mastery of the skill of indirect and gradual revelation, is the most complete to appear in any language and includes a biographical and critical introduction written by Ilan Stavans, the noted novelist and scholar of Hispanic culture. Readers interested in the art of fiction and in the complexities of the human psyche will find Casey’s work irresistible.
Bruno Schulz, Translated from the Polish by Madeline G. Levine Foreword by RivkaGalchen Northwestern University Press, 2018 Library of Congress PG7158.S294A2 2018 | Dewey Decimal 891.8537
Winner of the 2019 Found in Translation Award
Collected Stories is an authoritative new translation of the complete fiction of Bruno Schulz, whose work has influenced writers as various as Salman Rushdie, Cynthia Ozick, Jonathan Safran Foer, Philip Roth, Danilo Kiš, and Roberto Bolaño.
Schulz’s prose is renowned for its originality. Set largely in a fictional counterpart of his hometown of Drohobych, his stories merge the real and the surreal. The most ordinary objects—the wind, an article of clothing, a plate of fish—can suddenly appear unfathomably mysterious and capable of illuminating profound truths. As Father, one of his most intriguing characters, declaims: “Matter has been granted infinite fecundity, an inexhaustible vital force, and at the same time, a seductive power of temptation that entices us to create forms.”
This comprehensive volume brings together all of Schulz's published stories—Cinnamon Shops, his most famous collection (sometimes titled The Street of Crocodiles in English), The Sanatorium under the Hourglass, and an additional four stories that he did not include in either of his collections. Madeline G. Levine’s masterful new translation shows contemporary readers how Schulz, often compared to Proust and Kafka, reveals the workings of memory and consciousness.
"A very interesting collection . . . both for the way that Henderson's work links the literature of the Harlem Renaissance with the black protest literature of Richard Wright and others, and for Henderson's subject matter and the places that he chose to publish."
--Nellie McKay, University of Wisconsin-Madison
"There is really no other black fiction quite like this that I know of, from the 1920s through the 1930s . . . That Henderson was publishing stories in a newspaper and magazine for the mass market after the period when 'the vogue of the Negro' had allegedly ended is significant in itself. The stories are interesting in relation to both the Negro renaissance and the turn to proletarian fiction."
--George Hutchinson, Indiana University
Harlem Calling collects carefully crafted short stories about life in Alabama, Memphis, and New York City that dramatize the profound ambivalence many blacks felt about their participation in the Great Migration. George Wylie Henderson's tales of the rural South are sometimes nostalgic but also present the hard work and violence of everyday life there, and his stories set in Harlem present the glamour of urban life, while they also are concerned with poverty and social mores.
Henderson enjoyed a widespread popular audience for his periodical fiction in the 1930s and '40s and was a regular contributor to the New York Daily News and Redbook magazine, where the seventeen stories in Harlem Calling were originally published. Until the publication of Harlem Calling, Henderson had been chiefly known for his critically acclaimed 1935 novel about an Alabama farmhand, Ollie Miss, and the 1946 sequel narrating her son's migration to Harlem, Jule. Contemporary critics have favorably compared Henderson's writing to that of Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes, as it captures the life of the black migrant with a style that embraces simplicity and honesty.
Collected here by literary scholar and editor David G. Nicholls, and contextualized with an informative and insightful introduction, Harlem Calling provides a unique perspective on the Harlem Renaissance and on the African American literary tradition.
George Wylie Henderson (1904-65) was born in Alabama, worked in the printing trade, and began writing fiction shortly after graduating from the Tuskegee Institute. He migrated to Harlem with his wife in the late 1920s and published his first story in the New York Daily News in 1932. He also published two novels, Ollie Miss (1935) and Jule (1946). David G. Nicholls is the Director of Book Publications for the Modern Language Association and holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Chicago. He is author of Conjuring the Folk: Forms of Modernity in African America.
During the pandemic and in the wake of his father’s death, Daniel A. Olivas set upon the task of reviewing almost 25 years’ worth of his short stories that had been published in various collections or as parts of novels. Our strange times seemed to call for this type of introspection and examination. He found that many of his narratives fell within the world of magic, fairy tales, fables, and dystopian futures. This review also revealed that many of his fictions confronted—either directly or obliquely—questions of morality, justice, and self-determination while being deeply steeped in Chicano and Mexican culture. Olivas decided to choose his favorite tales from the many scores of stories that populated his published works. He added to the mix two recent stories—one dystopian, the other magical—both of which confront the last administration’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies. The result is How to Date a Flying Mexican: New and Collected Stories. Though his books have been taught in colleges and high schools across the country for over two decades, this collection brings together some of his most unforgettable strange tales that will be enjoyed, again, by his fans, and anew for readers who have not, as yet, experienced Olivas’s distinct—and very Chicano—fiction. A literary critic once called Olivas a “literary marvel.” These stories, collectively, offer ample support for this declaration.
Even before the first cannonballs were fired at Fort Sumter, American writers were trying to make creative sense of the War Between the States. These thirty-one stories were culled from hundreds that circulated in popular magazines between 1861 and the celebration of the American centennial in 1876. Arranged to echo the sequence of the unfolding drama of the war and Reconstruction, together these short stories constitute an “inadvertent novel,” a collective narrative about a domestic crisis that was still ongoing as the stories were being written and published. The authors, who include Louisa May Alcott and Mark Twain, depict the horrors of the battlefield, the suffering in prison camps and field hospitals, and the privations of the home front. In these pages, bushwhackers carry the war to out-of-the-way homesteads, spies work households from the inside, journeying paymasters rely on the kindness of border women, and soldiers turn out to be girls. The stories are populated with nurses, officers, speculators, preachers, slaves, and black troops, and they take place in cities, along the frontier, and on battlefields from Shiloh to Gettysburg. The book opens with a prewar vigilante attack on the Underground Railroad and a Kansas parson in Henry King’s “The Cabin at Pharoah’s Ford” and concludes with an ex-slave recalling the loss of her remaining son in Twain’s “A True Story.” In between are stories written by both women and men that were published in magazines from the South and West as well as the culturally dominant Northeast. Wartime wood engravings highlight the text. Kathleen Diffley’s introduction provides literary and historical background, and her commentary introduces readers to magazine authors as well as the deepening disruptions of a country at war. Just as they did for nineteenth-century readers, these stories will bring the war home to contemporary readers, giving shape to a crisis that rocked the nation then and continues to haunt it now.