Let me start by saying that this is not your typical collection.  It is not a juried contest or an annual anthology, edited by an acclaimed professor.  This is about writers, and what speaks to them.

Pulled from the archives of The Paris Review, writers of today gush, er, introduce each selection.  The intros range from fan letters to analysis.

As Jeffrey Eugenides writes in his introduction to Denis Johnson’s story:

A short story must be, by definition, short.  That’s the trouble with short stories.  That’s why they’re so difficult to write.  How do you keep a narrative brief and still have it function as a story?  Compared to writing novels, writing short fiction is mainly a question of knowing what to leave out.  What you leave in must imply everything that’s missing.  ~Pg. 96

The stories in this book range in length, style, tone, narrator and era.   You can skip around, like I did, looking for the story that suits your mood.  What doesn’t vary is the literary quality — the sort we’ve all come to expect from the editors of The Paris Review.

The book includes stories by the following:

Daniel Alarcón · Donald Barthelme · Ann Beattie · David Bezmozgis · Jorge Luis Borges · Jane Bowles · Ethan Canin · Raymond Carver · Evan S. Connell · Bernard Cooper · Guy Davenport · Lydia Davis · Dave Eggers · Jeffrey Eugenides · Mary Gaitskill · Thomas Glynn · Aleksandar Hemon · Amy Hempel · Mary-Beth Hughes · Denis Johnson · Jonathan Lethem · Sam Lipsyte · Ben Marcus · David Means · Leonard Michaels · Steven Millhauser · Lorrie Moore · Craig Nova · Daniel Orozco · Mary Robison · Norman Rush · James Salter · Mona Simpson · Ali Smith · Wells Tower · Dallas Wiebe · Joy Williams

Many thanks to the folks at Picador for the review copy.

October 2012
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781250005984
ISBN10: 1250005981
Rough Front/Deckel Edge
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 368 pages

One thought on “REVIEW: OBJECT LESSONS – Stories from the Paris Review”

  1. That’s quite a prestigious list of writers. I’ve always had a difficult time finding a good short story collection but this one looks pretty good.

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