Grace Paley: The Collected Stories
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The Collected Stories is a 1994 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction.
This reissue of Grace Paley's classic collection—a finalist for the National Book Award—demonstrates her rich use of language as well as her extraordinary insight into and compassion for her characters, moving from the hilarious to the tragic and back again. Whether writing about the love (and conflict) between parents and children or between husband and wife, or about the struggles of aging single mothers or disheartened political organizers to make sense of the world, she brings the same unerring ear for the rhythm of life as it is actually lived.
dead—she took him home in the wagon. What else? I asked. My father walked into the room. He said, At least she lived. Didn’t you live too? I asked my aunt. Then my grandmother took her hand. Sonia. One reason I don’t close my eyes at night is I think about you. You know it. What will be? You have no life. Grandmother, I asked, what about us? My aunt sighed. Little girl. Darling, let’s take a nice walk. At the supper table nobody spoke. So I asked her once more: Sonia, tell me no or yes. Do
topknot, the stuff escapes around the contour of her face, making her wisp-haired and easy to blush. He is now living with a shapely girl with white round arms and he calls her Fatty. When in New York, Faith’s first husband lives within floating distance of the Green Coq, a prospering bar where he is well known and greeted loudly as he enters, shoving his current woman gallantly before. He introduces her around—hey, this is Fatty or Baldy. Once there was Bugsy, dragged up from the gutter where
virulent scarlet fever, and particularly leprosy. Leprosy! for godsakes! said Alexandra. John! Upset yourself with reality for once! She read aloud from the Times about the bombed, burned lepers’ colonies in North Vietnam. Her father said, Please, Alexandra, today, no propaganda. Why do you constantly pick on the United States? He remembered the first time he’d seen the American flag on wild Ellis Island. Under its protection and working like a horse, he’d read Dickens, gone to medical school,
something else? he asked. I think, a movie I once saw. Apple turnovers! You know I have to admit it, our commune isn’t working too well. Probably because it’s in Brooklyn and the food co-op isn’t together. But it’s cool, they’ve accepted the criticism. You have lots of junk in here, he pointed out after dinner. He had decided to give the place some respectful attention. He meant armchairs, lamps, desk sets, her grandmother’s wedding portrait, and an umbrella stand with two of her father’s
going to be married.” “What?” she said. “Married?” she screeched. “Are you crazy? You can’t even get a job without working papers yet. You can’t even get working papers. You’re a baby. Are you kidding me? You’re my little fish. You’re not fourteen yet.” “Well, I decided we could wait until next month when I will be fourteen. Then, I decided, we can get married.” “You can’t, my God! Nobody gets married at fourteen, nobody, nobody. I don’t know a soul.” “Oh, Mother, people do, you always see