Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A New York Magazine Best Book of the Year
A Huffington Post Best Book of the Year
Twenty contemporary authors introduce twenty sterling examples of the short story from the pages of The Paris Review.
What does it take to write a great short story? In Object Lessons, twenty contemporary masters of the genre answer that question, sharing favorite stories from the pages of The Paris Review. Over the course of the last half century, the Review has launched hundreds of careers while publishing some of the most inventive and best-loved stories of our time. This anthology---the first of its kind---is more than a treasury: it is an indispensable resource for writers, students, and anyone else who wants to understand fiction from a writer's point of view.
"Some chose classics. Some chose stories that were new even to us. Our hope is that this collection will be useful to young writers, and to others interested in literary technique. Most of all, it is intended for readers who are not (or are no longer) in the habit of reading short stories. We hope these object lessons will remind them how varied the form can be, how vital it remains, and how much pleasure it can give."―from the Editors' Note
WITH SELECTIONS BY
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
still dreaming obscenely. The blood ran off him in strings. His knees jerked and his head rattled. There was nothing wrong with me, and I hadn’t seen anything, but the policeman had to question me and take me to the hospital anyway. The word came over his car radio that the man was now dead, just as we came under the awning of the emergency-room entrance. I stood in a tiled corridor with my wet sleeping bag bunched against the wall beside me, talking to a man from the local funeral home. The
the checks she sent me, and the cash gifts, and the winter coats and boots I got for nearly every birthday, and the microwave and the matched living room set. And the arrangement she’d made years ago with my co-op board and with ConEd. I paid my own transportation and food from the paycheck from the art-movie theater, but the rest, as everyone knew who came to my mother’s house, and about which old Sven had been particularly vocal, basically came from my allowance. Meanwhile my mother’s smug
wall. I wanted to do a big picture and nailed canvas to one of the walls, propping chairs and tables and ladders against it so I could hop around on my one good leg and fill the canvas with lines. I had Jenny jumping from one of the ceiling beams in the loft. I wanted to get that look people have on their face when they go through the air. Have you seen that look? It’s like modeling a face in damp seersucker shorts. The mouth has this absent-minded look about it, the eyes seem to be hurricane
“Then I love her too,” Buddy said. “Or she’s one of the Gabors. With her collar turned up? Always dancing and singing with a scarf tied on her wrist, like this is a musical. I have to go, Buddy.” “I know you do,” he said. “How’d they make out with Vincent? They captured him yet?” “No, unfortunately. But he has been seen.” She said, “Well, of course, he’s been seen! At practically every patient’s window. And in their closets. Or he’s standing right beside them in the mirror.” “Don’t make
handmade. You should be examined for not buying day-old bread. Everyone should buy dented cans. Also there was a correct way to do all these things, which was just to do them and not be perceived as spending a lot of mental time on avoiding being duped. Water was the only thing to drink. Also it was free. The point of Roy’s carrying around a change purse full of nuts and raisins was to avoid being duped into going into restaurants on impulse and wasting money, or if you did, you popped down some