Here are all of Grace Paley's classic stories collected in one volume. Her quirky, boisterous characters and rich use of language have won her readers' hearts and secured her place as one of America's most accomplished writers of short fiction.
This is really three separate volumes of short stories, The Little Disturbances of Man from 1959, Enormous Changes at the Last Minute from 1974 and Later the Same Day from 1985, all published together in 1994, while this edition came out in 2007,This is really three separate volumes of short stories, The Little Disturbances of Man from 1959, Enormous Changes at the Last Minute from 1974 and Later the Same Day from 1985, all published together in 1994, while this edition came out in 2007, the year Grace Paley died, aged 85. The stories mostly concern a group of interconnected characters in the Bronx whose lives from early motherhood to late middle age are charted right through the collection, which makes it particularly interesting to read the three volumes back to back. Indeed, I think a good proportion of the stories need the scaffolding of the collection and might be difficult to access if read separately as Paley doesn't really go in for filling the reader in with back story. The stories often start in the middle of some action or conversation so the experience of reading Paley is a bit like running to catch a bus, you have to jump on pretty quick once you get close. And you must pay attention or else you might as well step of that bus because it probably isn't going in your direction. There are lots of comic one liners, as in this first line,"The old are modest, said Philip. They tend not to outlive one another." But for every ounce of humour, there is a pound of deep reflection on the big issues like inequality, racism, war. Paley's characters are frequently politically active as she was herself, particularly against the war in Vietnam. For me, there were echoes of Doris Lessing's Golden Notebook (which I liked less on a recent second reading) and Fay Weldon's Down Among the Women (also read decades ago) but Paley's voice is more brilliant than theirs, Jewish New York all the way through with amazing dialogue. If you want to try one of her stories, read Goodbye and Good Luck, the first in this collection. A gem....Continua Nascondi