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Age

by Hortense Calisher

A novel that examines aging and marriage with sincerity and insightRupert and Gemma, an elderly couple still very much in love, know that death will inevitably come for one of them before taking the other, so they keep private journals to ensure that the survivor's mate will never truly be gone, living on instead through his or her words. Age is the narrative of Rupert and Gemma's lives: their similarities, their differences, and the ways in which the two are irreversibly entwined. Each writes of life's mundane events--social outings, errands, a quiet night at home--that assume wistful meaning when viewed through the lens of memory.

The Beautiful and Damned

by F. Scott Fitzgerald Hortense Calisher

Introduction by Hortense Calisher Commentary by Edmund Wilson, Henry Seidel Canby, and Arthur Mizener Fitzgerald's second novel, a devastating portrait of the excesses of the Jazz Age, is a largely autobiographical depiction of a glamorous, reckless Manhattan couple and their spectacular spiral into tragedy. Published on the heels of This Side of Paradise, the story of the Harvard-educated aesthete Anthony Patch and his willful wife, Gloria, is propelled by Fitzgerald's intense romantic imagination and demonstrates an increased technical and emotional maturity. The Beautiful and Damned is at once a gripping morality tale, a rueful meditation on love, marriage, and money, and an acute social document. As Hortense Calisher observes in her Introduction, "Though Fitzgerald can entrance with stories so joyfully youthful they appear to be safe--when he cuts himself, you will bleed."Includes a Modern Library Reading Group Guide From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Best American Short Stories 1981

by Hortense Calisher

An anthology of the Best American Short Series both fiction and non fiction by such acclaimed authors as nn Beattie, John Updike, Cynthia Ozick, Louis D. Rubin, Mavis Gallant, Alice Munro, Elizabeth Tallent, Hortense Calisher, Joyce Carol Oates, Elizabeth Hardwick, and many others. Featuring Hortense Calisher as the guest editor and writing the introduction to this novel in the series.

The Bobby-Soxer

by Hortense Calisher

Hortense Calisher's revelatory novel of celebrity, small-town values, and a young woman's coming of ageFamous playwright Craig Towle has decided to return to his New Jersey hometown, a suburb of New York City. He arrives with his world-renowned reputation and a new wife who is half his age. It is the 1950s, and the new couple raises plenty of eyebrows--in particular, those of the narrator, an adolescent girl who is full of observations, but not judgments. At the center of this layered novel is the narrator's unconventional family and their odd fixation on Towle, which goes beyond his mere celebrity. The secrets of their past and the potential involvement of Towle in the family's lineage intertwine in a potentially devastating turn.

The Collected Stories of Hortense Calisher

by Hortense Calisher

Finalist for the National Book Award: Thirty-six stories by O. Henry Award-winning novelist Hortense CalisherThe Collected Stories of Hortense Calisher gathers short pieces that chart the author's best-loved themes of mindful consciousness and social worlds. This collection includes one of her well-known New Yorker stories, "In Greenwich There Are Many Gravelled Walks," in which a young man drops his mother off at a sanitarium and acquires a new friend who finally awakens him to the world. Also included are "The Sound of Waiting," one of the chapters in the Elkin family saga; the chilling, Jamesian "The Scream on Fifty-seventh Street," in which a New York widow hears a scream late one night but cannot decide how to investigate without appearing to her neighbors to have gone mad; and the nearly novella-length "The Summer Rebellion."

Eagle Eye

by Hortense Calisher

Hortense Calisher's complex exploration of the journey of a young man whose intelligent observations cannot help him figure out his own directionReturning home to New York from Europe on his twenty-first birthday, draft-dodging narrator Bunty Bronstein is frustrated with his increasingly pompous businessman father and his disaffected mother, who no longer shows the flame she once possessed.Equipped with an incisive view of bourgeois lifestyles in New York, Bunty observes the shifting sensibilities of his family members, and yet has difficulty apprehending his own place in the world. Preoccupied with emerging computer technology, yet unsure of his future and alienated from his once-comfortable family, Bunty remains a compelling, wandering soul.A male companion piece to Hortense Calisher's equally expert yet campier Queenie, Eagle Eye explores the mind of a relatable young man facing dilemmas that are at once universal and singular.

Extreme Magic

by Hortense Calisher

The recognition of failure and success is the theme of these eight short stories and the title novella from three-time National Book Award finalist Hortense CalisherExtreme Magic is Hortense Calisher's third collection of shorter works, after In the Absence of Angels (1951) and Tale for the Mirror (1962). Follow a drifting husband as he returns home and finds middle age in "A Christmas Carillon." Listen with a daughter as she overhears a painful argument between her parents in "The Gulf Between." Travel with a broken man as he heals after a tragic loss in "Extreme Magic." Once again, Calisher captivates with her expressionistic prose and intricate characters.

False Entry

by Hortense Calisher

In the vein of Eudora Welty and Charles Dickens, Hortense Calisher's astounding first novel examines a young man's detachment from the world--and his struggle to rejoin it Pierre Goodman enjoys an idyllic childhood as the son of a widowed dressmaker in post-World War I England. But paradise is ripped from him at age ten when he and his mother immigrate to a small town in Alabama. Yearning to regain peace within his own mind and aided by his photographic memory, he begins falsely but completely enveloping himself in the lives of others. He yearns to become not merely a listener to the world, but also a singer in its chorus. In doing so, Pierre's life becomes an extraordinary document of his time and place as he finds himself a part of history over and over again. He testifies against the Klan in the Deep South, joins the navy during World War II, experiences love, and eventually finds his way back to England as an entirely changed man.

Herself

by Hortense Calisher

A National Book Award nominee: Hortense Calisher's autobiography captures the making of a distinct literary voiceAlthough Hortense Calisher's fiction often draws on autobiographical elements, Herself is a disciplined documentation of the award-winning author's life and work. She surveys the various decades and landscapes she has inhabited, mining her family's Jewish lineage, discussing her children, exploring her greatest artistic influences, and describing her work process in a brave and bold work of autobiography. Herself is a rich collage of essays, reviews, recollections, and observations that unite the writer and the person.

In the Absence of Angels

by Hortense Calisher

The debut short story collection that launched the career of one of the twentieth century's most vivid writers, featuring the celebrated tale "In Greenwich There Are Many Gravelled Walks"In this captivating collection of fifteen short stories, many of which first appeared in the New Yorker, Hortense Calisher's lyrical prose captures the quotidian lives of individuals dealing with alienation, loneliness, and assimilation. Highly influenced by her own New York upbringing, Calisher brings an all-knowing and compassionate verve to these intimate stories.The opening piece, "In Greenwich There Are Many Gravelled Walks," is an elegantly constructed tale of a man who becomes particularly introspective after dropping his loving but alcoholic mother off at a sanitarium. In "Heartburn," Calisher deftly sketches a time and place through portraits of watering holes that resemble their own camaraderie-filled communities. The unforgettable title story captures the end of a love affair.With her distinctive language and psychological clarity, Calisher meticulously builds truths through her characters and their understandings.

In the Slammer with Carol Smith

by Hortense Calisher

A finely observed and lovingly detailed portrait of a woman attempting to find a community and understand her own troubled historyAfter spending two decades in jails, psych wards, and halfway houses for her peripheral involvement in a radical students' bombing plot, thirty-six-year-old Carol Smith winds up squatting in a tattered space in Spanish Harlem. She spends the majority of her vagrant days socializing with her homeless neighbors, arguing with a testy social worker, and wandering the streets with Alphonse, a wayward South African wino and self-professed actor. Alphonse proves to be an inspiring force, and soon Carol is weaning herself off antidepressants as the sifting of her memories--mostly of her upbringing by two aunts in Massachusetts--creates a chance for redemption.

Journal from Ellipsia

by Hortense Calisher

A humorous satire and loving tribute to science fiction that delves into the tenuous relationship between science and the humanities by asking, What does it mean to be human?A genderless alien from Ellipsia, a planet whose inhabitants have no concept of individuality, comes to Earth on an intergalactic exchange program to learn how to become human. To live here, the traveler must study and understand our inclinations for seeing people as distinct beings--the nature of gender, and at the heart of identity, the word I. At once funny and serious, Journal from Ellipsia offers a starkly objective view on our own humanity.

Kissing Cousins

by Hortense Calisher

Hortense Calisher's evocative memoir bristles with intelligence and youthful inquiryKissing Cousins recalls the author as a teenager: peppy, earnest, and a bit self-important. Hortense Calisher documents her family's surprising history as Southern Jews adrift in New York. Finding her new city and school boorish, the young Calisher takes solace in the enduring friendship she develops with Katie Pyle, a gregarious nurse turned "kissing cousin" fifteen years Calisher's senior. Katie, an unmarried woman, possesses her own secret, depicted here with a novelist's touch for the dramatic. Kissing Cousins tackles matters of aging, life, and death with the sensitivity and eloquence readers have come to expect from Hortense Calisher.

Mysteries of Motion

by Hortense Calisher

Hortense Calisher's excursion into science fiction: A rich portrait of the passengers aboard the first civilian space shuttle The Citizen Courier is headed toward Island US, "the first public habitat in space." Aboard the ship resides a collection of diverse travelers. Narrator Tom Gilpin is a rich publisher, and he's joined by fellow journalist Veronica, as well as an industrialist, a Jewish-German expatriate philosopher, a diplomat and his wife, and the teenage son of a NASA admiral. Revealing a complex, nonlinear narrative for each of its characters, the iridescent literary sci-fi of Mysteries of Motion captures lives and relationships as labyrinthine as the space vessel that carries them, channeling intergalactic, philosophical, and psychological voyages.

The New Yorkers

by Hortense Calisher

A sprawling, multicharacter masterpiece of guilt and the hope for redemptionOpening in 1943 and spanning over a decade, The New Yorkers is Hortense Calisher's most ambitious novel. Judge Simon Mannix, a well-educated upper-middle-class New Yorker, is faced with a terrible decision when his unfaithful wife is accidentally shot and killed by their twelve-year-old daughter. Mannix insists upon keeping the truth a secret, claiming that the death was a suicide, as he attempts to save his child from a life of psychological trauma. Shame accumulates in his consciousness, and Mannix finds himself obsessed with the nuances of guilt.Calisher weaves a complex tapestry of closely observed human behaviors and emotions, accentuated by a collection of fragmented portraits of the lives that intersect with those of the judge and his daughter.

On Keeping Women

by Hortense Calisher

A complex masterpiece that reveals the mind of a contemporary woman beyond the confines of family, love, and duty to one's selfLexie, a married woman with four children, undergoes a midlife crisis and questions her role as wife, mother, and lover. From within a Victorian house in the Hudson River Valley, Lexie dissects her life experiences in hopes of gaining a deeper understanding of her unhappiness. Through rich symbolism, lively dialogue, and acute commentary, Hortense Calisher conjures a cohesive map of Lexie's personal awakening.

Queenie

by Hortense Calisher

A cheeky portrait of an old-fashioned young woman's assimilation into the modern worldSet in 1960s New York, this piquant coming-of-age story concerns a teenage girl, Queenie, raised to become a "kept woman" in an exceedingly comfortable and well-adjusted--yet insular and retrograde--household. After enrolling in college, Queenie confronts new understandings, both personal and political, and gradually becomes cognizant of the dated values imparted upon her. Bringing her trademark stylishness and a remarkable exuberance to Queenie, Hortense Calisher simultaneously pays homage to and updates the Victorian storytelling approach in capturing the intellectual and sexual breakthroughs of a contemporary young woman.

The Railway Police and The Last Trolley Ride

by Hortense Calisher

Two novellas from award-winning author Hortense Calisher offering very different journeys: the first looking hopefully forward, and the second, into a painful pastThe characters in these two novellas take introspective, poignant excursions both to where they want to be (The Railway Police) and where they have been (The Last Trolley Ride). In the first, a woman with hereditary premature baldness decides to embrace her unadorned head and hopes to start a fresh life without attachments to the trappings of days gone by. In the second, an elderly man with a working replica of a trolley line in his basement reminisces about the fateful last ride he took on that very line many years ago. In both stories, Calisher probes the characters' senses of isolation from their respective worlds.

Standard Dreaming

by Hortense Calisher

A unique novel of parents and children--and the spaces between themDr. Niels Berners--a Swiss plastic surgeon living in New York--is struggling to recover from his dysfunctional son's abandonment of him. He joins a group of four other parents, all with absent children either in jail or in jeopardy, to discuss their feelings and seek a sense of community, comfort, and closure.Hortense Calisher artfully strings together tales of healing, brilliantly tracing the shadow of the generational gap. With compassion and precision, she paints the bruised egos of concerned parents confronting very empty nests.

Tale for the Mirror

by Hortense Calisher

Hortense Calisher delivers another collection of provocative prose, on par with that of Henry James and John UpdikeA novella plus twelve short vignettes, Tale for the Mirror demonstrates Hortense Calisher's masterful use of language in an exploration of the human condition. In the title novella, a suburban man in the Hudson River Valley analyzes his life and discovers the importance of stories after a sage Indian mystic moves into his neighborhood.Laced with wit and pathos, the evocative shorter pieces include the galvanizing "The Scream on Fifty-seventh Street," a textured tale of a widow who overhears an incident outside her window, compelling her to solve a mystery while coming to terms with her own loneliness in an unsentimental city. "The Rehabilitation of Ginevra Leake" is the farcical story of a homely girl from a proper Southern family who finds a home in the Communist party. In "The Seacoast of Bohemia," a successful Manhattan man comes to terms with the fact that he'll never have children.Tale for the Mirror peers into private lives with precision and perception, as only Hortense Calisher could.

Textures of Life

by Hortense Calisher

A study in motives, conflicts, ambitions, and fears as idealistic young newlyweds face unanticipated realitiesHortense Calisher's second novel is a multigenerational story of art, family, and marriage. Opening with Liz and David's wedding and chronicling the first four years of their life together, Calisher follows the couple through their evolution into erudite, antimaterialist artists. They move into a sparse downtown Manhattan loft, prideful of their rebellious choice to lead lives unfettered by possessions. As time passes, they realize that their unbridled optimism is slowly being abraded by the disappointments of reality. With the ambiguously pleasant news that Elizabeth's mother and David's father, both widowed, are finding new love together, Calisher further explores the couple's interplay and draws piercing parallels between the idealism of youth and the sagacity of old age.Textures of Life explores the nature of relationships and the shifts--both minute and seismic--that affect the power dynamics as Liz and David constantly redefine their roles and opinions in order to sustain their relationship.

The Turn of the Screw & In the Cage

by Henry James Hortense Calisher

This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition brings together one of literature's most famous ghost stories and one of Henry James's most unusual novellas. In The Turn of the Screw, a governess is haunted by ghosts from her young charges past; Virginia Woolf said of this masterpiece of psychological ambiguity and suggestion, We are afraid of something unnamed, of something, perhaps, in ourselves...Henry James...can still make us afraid of the dark.In his rarely anthologized novella In the Cage, James brings his incomparable powers of observation to the story of a clever, rebellious heroine of Britain's lower middle class. Hortense Calisher, in her Introduction, calls it a delicious story, the more so because it confounds what we expect from James.

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