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After a tour of combat abroad, a young man determined to keep to himself is drawn into the dramas of his East Village neighborsWorld War II veteran Richard Stone is attempting to transition back into normal life. An aspiring writer, he's surviving off the GI Bill and the help of friends. Living free of attachments and responsibilities, he thinks, is the best way to defend himself from the world's pain, like his unhappy upbringing or his best friend's death in the war.But his neighborhood on Second Avenue won't permit such seclusion. The characters around Richard include a lonely poet, an unhappy literary couple, and a widower who can't stop thinking about the plight of Europe's Jews. Gradually they pull Richard into their lives, and even introduce him to the lovely Jemmy Gordon--but life and happiness are not so simple.
Elly Kaufman is too young, too beautiful, and too intense to accept life on its own terms; instead, she creates havoc in the world around herIn postwar Indianapolis, young dreamer Elly is navigating adolescence in a tight-knit family. Her search for truth leads her through a variety of experiences--and loves. To a famous architect, she is a symbol of undying youth; to a struggling actor, she is the unspoiled image of creative will; to an ex-GI, she is a thief; to a young musician, she is the source of inspiration. But what will Elly be to herself?
"An important and rewarding collection." --Houston ChronicleThe short stories from In the Country of the Young feature characters struggling to find hope and connection--or just escape--through art, work, and love. The title story, a moving account of an angst-ridden seventeen-year-old nearly overwhelmed by his family's aspirations for him, is a paean to the brief moment when the promise of youth and selfhood are untarnished by the disenchantments of life. In "Foxx Hunting," a widower travels to LA to find a porn actress, though the movie he saw her in was shot decades earlier. "Lunch with Gottlieb" captures a young man of ambition hunting for the legendary advertising genius Gottlieb, lost in the jungles of business lunch.Garnering comparisons to the work of Bernard Malamud and Saul Bellow, the stories of In the Country of the Young are written with the rare empathy and skill of a short fiction master.
The private life behind the public face of a sex symbolAfter being crowned Miss America a decade ago, Cathy Forester has been in some glamorous settings--but she has little to show for it. She's endured a string of failed loves, a divorce, and the death of her parents. Restless by temperament, Cathy thinks she may have found a new life with a younger man, Peter Shaw. Peter is the son of a famous musician and is still battling to come into his own. Smitten by Cathy's beauty, he jumps at the chance to step out of his father's shadow. Together, the pair finds solace from the outside world, but have their frailties really disappeared? Ringing with authentic intimacy, Miss America is a powerful study of disenchanted love.
More of Daniel Stern's celebrated updates to classic talesThe stories of One Day's Perfect Weather are original, but they flirt enchantingly with classic prose, poetry, and music. Inspired by sources as diverse as Robert Frost and Johann Sebastian Bach, Stern spins luminous short fiction that honors and expands upon its inspirations.
All men are artists. After all, they have their lives.Wolf Walker is that noblest of creatures: the unrealized artist. He is also ethical advisor to the Lester & French Advertising Agency--a professional conscience. After reading an alarming entry in his wife's diary on his fortieth birthday, Wolf sets out to reclaim his sense of identity. His resulting midlife crisis is both surreal and hilarious, poignant and imaginative. The Rose Rabbi is a fable about the relation between morals, art, and life, from one of America's best writers of fiction.
A dark and beautiful tale of a most unusual schoolWolf Walker is the director of the Suicide Academy. Troubled individuals come to his school for just one day and must decide whether to end their lives. As for Wolf himself, he is suffering a kind of death-in-life. The Academy's board members have involved him in a policy skirmish, and the depressed employee he had an affair with is not getting any better. When his ex-wife, Jewel, and her husband come on the scene, ostensibly to make a film about the Academy, he is racked by old jealousies--and he also wonders, might she secretly be checking in?Packed with meaning, The Suicide Academy is a gripping existential parable about souls adrift in modern life.
The wryly amusing and revealing story of one man's journey into the swinger lifestyle that pulls back the curtain on one of the most fascinating--and least understood--subcultures in the nation.An estimated fifteen million strong worldwide, swingers are everywhere--a huge community, hiding in plain sight, whose erotic pastime remains a complete mystery to the rest of us. In Swingland, Daniel Stern outs himself and the secretive society he loves, recounting his ten-year transformation from a lonely guy who couldn't get a date into a veteran sexual adventurer. With wit and infectious enthusiasm, Stern shares all the hard-earned wisdom he's acquired in America's swinging underground. Everyone is welcome, but bring flip-flops (it can get messy). There are plenty of bumps and bruises along the way, including countless rejections, missed opportunities, and one particular AARP orgy. But slowly and surely, through an impressive series of threesomes, foursomes, and moresomes, this "Vanilla" newbie becomes a much sought-after partner for couples looking to spice up their relationships. As readers travel with Stern on his exploits, they are treated to a whole new lexicon (there aren't many single women swingers, or "Unicorns," but plenty of MFMs, FMFs, MMFMs, and MMMFMs) as well as free, invaluable advice should they take the plunge themselves (be honest, sensitive, and hygienic!). But, Swingland is much more than a titillating exposé. Lovingly written, with a keen sensibility regarding the sensitive and often misunderstood subject, Stern's narrative is as improbably safe as it is fun--and impossible to put down.
Daniel Stern's sparkling reinventions of six great literary worksTwice Told Tales is a new take on some of literature's greatest stories. In a bravura performance, acclaimed novelist Daniel Stern channels the particular styles and spirits of six classic pieces--even the writings of Sigmund Freud--into unexpected new settings. E. M. Forster, Henry James, and Ernest Hemingway are updated in brilliantly drawn portraits, at once affectionate and satirical. Stern's approach is deft and witty, yet always attentive to the timeless characters and ideas with which he works.
More sly and imaginative tributes to some of the greatest writing of the modern age, from author Daniel SternIn Twice Told Tales, Stern wonderfully reimagined classics of world literature--from Forster to Freud--in homage to their authors and the power of great writing.Twice Upon a Time continues the project, though this time Stern goes further, weaving stories around texts as diverse as Marx and Engels's The Communist Manifesto and the poetry of Wallace Stevens. In "Bartleby the Scrivener," Melville's famous copyist is relocated to Hollywood; the hero is an agent who "would prefer not to retire."Infectiously clever, Twice Upon a Time enchants like the best of the authors to whom it pays tribute.
It was in New York that he discovered Sarah.As Simon recovers from a professional disaster--and escapes Chicago for New York--he is drawn to the beautiful, exciting, and mysterious Sarah. Even though the forty-year-old Simon has a wife and child, he falls madly in love with Sarah. Devoting themselves with abandon to the pursuit of happiness, the lovers tour New York, Paris, Venice, and beyond. Their journey takes them deep within their emotions, and reveals dangerous secrets in Sarah's past. Simon wants to save her, but is that possible? And does she really want to be saved?
Winner of the International Prix du Souvenir Award: A theater director and Holocaust survivor is confronted by a figure from his pastBehind the lights and glamour of Broadway, two men reckon with a shared past--one that hides a terrible secret. Jud Kramer is mounting his most painful and personal play while trying to enjoy life with his beautiful actress wife and baby daughter. Into his life comes Carl Walkowitz, a brooding, charismatic drifter who bears the scars of his concentration camp past.One man lives in the past, and the other is holding tight to the present. Carl methodically pursues Jud until they find themselves on an empty stage, face to face in a struggle that only one of them can survive.
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