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"The Best American Short Stories" is a yearly anthology of the best of contemporary American writing. All the selected stories are by renowned authors in both the field of fiction and non-fiction, featuring a guest editor who is also an expert in his field.
This vital and compelling collection of stories about work, compiled by novelist and short-story writer Richard Ford, explores tales of how we Americans are employed; how we find work and leave it; how it excites, ennobles, occasionally debilitates, but often defines us. Contributing writers for Blue Collar, White Collar, No Collar range from contemporary Pulitzer Prize winners Edward P. Jones and Jhumpa Lahiri to iconic short-story masters Tobias Wolff, Annie Proulx, and Joyce Carol Oates, as well as emerging writers such as Lewis Robinson. Encompassing a wide range of contemporary literary styles, ages, ethnic backgrounds, and geographical locations, Blue Collar, White Collar, No Collar is a masterful, exhilarating, and timely fictional exploration of work and its relationship to the human spirit. All author proceeds from Blue Collar, White Collar, No Collar: Stories of Work will go directly to fund the free youth writing, tutoring, and publishing programs offered by 826michigan.
"First, I'll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later." Then fifteen-year-old Dell Parsons' parents rob a bank, his sense of normal life is forever altered. In an instant, this private cataclysm drives his life into before and after, a threshold that can never be uncrossed. His parents' arrest and imprisonment mean a threatening and uncertain future for Dell and his twin sister, Berner. Willful and burning with resentment, Berner flees their home in Montana, abandoning her brother and her life. But Dell is not completely alone. A family friend intervenes, spiriting him across the Canadian border, in hopes of delivering him to a better life. There, afloat on the prairie of Saskatchewan, Dell is taken in by Arthur Remlinger, an enigmatic and charismatic American whose cool reserve masks a dark and violent nature. Undone by the calamity of his parents' robbery and arrest, Dell struggles under the vast prairie sky to remake himself and define the adults he thought he knew. But his search for grace and peace only moves him nearer to a harrowing and murderous collision with Remlinger, an elemental force of darkness. A true masterwork of haunting and spectacular vision from one of our greatest writers, Canada is a profound novel of boundaries traversed, innocence lost and reconciled, and the mysterious and consoling bonds of family. Told in spare, elegant prose, both resonant and luminous, it is destined to become a classic.
Compilation of some of the best American short stories, with an introduction by the editor.
Frank Bascombe is no longer a sportswriter, yet he's still living in Haddam, New Jersey, where he now sells real estate. He's still divorced, though his ex-wife, to his dismay, has remarried and moved along with their children to Connecticut. But Frank is happy enough in his work and pursuing various civic and entrepreneurial sidelines. He has high hopes for this 4th of July weekend: a search for a house for deeply hapless clients relocating to Vermont; a rendezvous on the Jersey shore with his girlfriend; then up to Connecticut to pick up his larcenous and emotionally troubled teenage son and visit as many sports halls of fame as they can fit into two days. Frank's Independence Day, however, turns out not as he'd planned, and this decent, appealingly bewildered, profoundly observant man is wrenched, gradually and inevitably, out of his private refuge. Independence Day captures the mystery of life -- in all its conflicted glory -- with grand humour, intense compassion and transfixing power.From the Trade Paperback edition.
With The Sportswriter, in 1985, Richard Ford began a cycle of novels that ten years later - after Independence Day won both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award - was hailed by The Times of London as "an extraordinary epic [that] is nothing less than the story of the twentieth century itself."Frank Bascombe's story resumes, in the fall of 2000, with the presidential election still hanging in the balance and Thanksgiving looming before him with all the perils of a post-nuclear family get-together. He's now plying his trade as a realtor on the Jersey shore and contending with health, marital and familial issues that have his full attention: "all the ways that life seems like life at age fifty-five strewn around me like poppies."Richard Ford's first novel in over a decade: the funniest, most engaging (and explosive) book he's written, and a major literary event.From the Hardcover edition.
Ford's mesmerizing first novel is the story of two godless pilgrims. Robard Hewes has driven across the country in the service of a destructive passion. Sam Newell is seeking the missing piece of himself. When these men converge, on an uncharted island in the Mississippi, each discovers the thing he's looking for--amid a conflagration of violence that's as shocking as it is inevitable."This is one of those books that hit you hard...a story filled with breathing characters and genius-crafted dialogue between moments of consummate description.... I can't be unbiased. I'm mad for this book."--Elizabeth Ashton, Houston ChronicleFrom the Trade Paperback edition.
As a sportswriter, Frank Bascombe makes his living studying people--men, mostly--who live entirely within themselves. This is a condition that Frank himself aspires to. But at thirty-eight, he suffers from incurable dreaminess, occasional pounding of the heart, and the not-too-distant losses of a career, a son, and a marriage. In the course of the Easter week in which Ford's moving novel transpires, Bascombe will end up losing the remnants of his familiar life, though with his spirits soaring.From the Trade Paperback edition.
In this novel of menace and eroticism, Richard Ford updates the tradition of Conrad for the age of cocaine smuggling. The setting is Oaxaca, Mexico, where Harry Quinn has come to free his girlfriend's brother, Sonny, from Jail and, ideally, to get him away form the suavely sadistic drug dealer who suspects Sonny of having cheated him. "His prose has a taut, cinematic quality that bathes his story with the same hot, mercilessly white light that scorches Mexico."--New York Times Book ReviewFrom the Trade Paperback edition.
Vintage Readers are a perfect introduction to some of the great modern writers presented in attractive, accessible paperback editions. "One of the country's best writers. . . . No one looks harder at contemporary American life, sees more, or expresses it with such hushed, deliberate care. " --San Francisco Chronicle An accomplished practitioner of the short story and the "Babe Ruth of novelists," (Washington Post Book World)Richard Ford is the first writer to receive both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for a single book, his 1995 novelIndependence Day. Vintage Fordincludes an excerpt from that novel, along with the stories "Communist," and "Rock Springs" from his collectionRock Springs; "Reunion," and "Calling," fromA Multitude of Sins,which won him the 2001 PEN/Malamud Award; "The Womanizer," fromWomen with Men. Also included, for the first time in book form, the memoir, "My Mother, in Memory. " From the Trade Paperback edition.
Great Falls, Montana, is where the Rockies end and where, in 1960, the Brinson family hopes to find a better life. Instead, sixteen-year-old Joe Brinson watches his parents discover the limits of their marriage and, at the same time, the unexpected depths of dignity and courage that remain even when love dies.From the Trade Paperback edition.
In his second collection of short fiction, Richard Ford captures relationships at complex and essential moments of truth -- exploring the obscure difference between privacy and intimacy, the fine distinction of pleasing another as opposed to oneself, and the need for reliance tempered by fearful vulnerability. The three stories take us from the plains of Montana, to the streets of Paris, to the suburbs of Chicago.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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