The complete short stories of James Purdy

by Purdy, James, 1914-2009,

Format: Print Book 2013
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 2 copies
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CLP - Main Library First Floor - Fiction Stacks FICTION Purdy
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  First Floor - Fiction Stacks
Call Number  FICTION Purdy
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Mt. Lebanon Public Library Classics STORAGE
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Classics

Collected here for the first time are all James Purdy's short stories--fifty-six--including seven drawn from unpublished archives. Characterised by his dark sense of humour and jaundiced eye towards American culture, Purdy was considered one of the greatest--and most underappreciated--writers in America in the last half of the twentieth century. Although championed by a diverse range of writers, "an authentic American genius" (Gore Vidal) , Purdy's work has heretofore been relegated to the avant-garde fringes of the American literary mainstream. Marginalised all too often as a "gay author" with themes too scabrous for popular consumption, his stories anticipate both "David Lynch and Desperate Housewives" (The Guardian). American culture has finally caught up with the man Susan Sontag called "one of the half dozen or so living American writers worth taking seriously."Purdy's journey to recognition came with as much outrage and condemnation as it did lavish praise and lasting admiration.

His first book, Don't Call Me by My Right Name, reprinted in this edition, had to be printed privately in the United States in 1956, after first being published in Britain.

A good woman
You reach for your hat
Sound of talking
Cutting edge
Don't call me by my right name
Man and wife
Plan now to attend
Why can't they tell you why?
63: dream palace
About Jessie Mae
You may safely gaze
Color of darkness
Night and day
The lesson
Mrs. Benson
Everything under the sun
Daddy wolf
Goodnight, sweetheart
Home by dark
Scrap of paper
Mr. Evening
On the rebound
Lily's party
Summer tidings
Some of these days
Short papa
Ruthanna Elder
How I became a shadow
Sleep tight
Mud Toe the cannibal
The candles of your eyes
In this corner ...
Kitty Blue
Gertrude's hand
The white blackbird
A little variety, please
Easy Street
Entre dos luces
Moe's villa
No stranger to Luke
Reaching Rose
Early stories. A chance to say no ; Dr. Dieck & Company ; That's about enough out of you ; Talk about yesterday ; The pupil
Final stories. Vera's story ; Adeline.

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Purdy's gift for capturing the despair in people's lives is abundantly present in this collection of 58 stories. A wife's disdain for her husband is exemplified in her lack of confidence that he can change a refrigerator's lightbulb, in "Man and Wife." The doctor of "Ruthanna Elder," who has delivered more than 2,000 babies, attributes his insomnia to "too meticulous a memory of the subsequent lives" they led, which weighed on him like "slabs from the stone quarry." Purdy can sum up a character in a phrase-a college acquaintance seen two decades later is described as having a body "so loose and yet heavy as though the passions and anguish of man had never coursed through it." When he's at his best, his brief glimpses into troubled lives are painful to read. He's less successful when he tries his hand at fables; entries like "Mud Toe the Cannibal" and "Kitty Blue" are unremarkable. Noir fans who like nothing better than to peer into the windows of broken souls but don't need blood to enjoy the view will agree with Waters's note in his introduction that this complete volume ("here they all are at last") of "perfectly perverted" stories is a treasure. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Short stories, American.
Publisher New York :2013
Edition First edition.
Other Titles Short stories
Language English
Description xiv, 726 pages ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 721-724).
ISBN 9780871406699 (hardcover)
0871406691 (hardcover)
Other Classic View