Description : Eleven short stories, representing Williams' early fiction, provide insight into his compassion for the human condition
Description : Whether we are eavesdropping on the imaginative Saturdays of a Portuguese cleaning lady or living through a divorced woman’s search for the elusive orgasm. Norma Harrs manages in this collection of short stories to absorb the essence of her narrator’s psyche with the clarity of a good actress who gets under the very skin of her characters. Love, either the absence of or yearning for, is the theme that links that stories in this collection together. Love for a family member, a friend, a lover, or a husband, and sometimes that lack of reciprocity, is the element that gives the stories poignancy and force. The variety in these stories keeps the reader always guessing. The author doesn’t limit us to the easy answers, but brilliantly provokes us to enlarge our own landscape.
Description : A memoir and a history, Grampa’s Left Arm tells the story of Jakob Tirjan and Annie Kaufold, immigrants who settled in southeastern Pennsylvania in the early 1900’s. Their village on the Austro-Hungarian eastern frontier faded into history when the province of Galicia came under Polish rule after WWI. The Author’s curiosity about the origins of his name led him to explore Eastern Europe’s troubled twentieth century history and the societal transformations which shaped his political perspective of the United States. Ethnic clashes, the Red Scare, the KKK, fair wages and strikes, even the Business Plot were all heated topics around the dining table. These arguments planted the seeds of curiosity about the origin of his name. No one in his family knew for sure if Grampa Tirjan was really Austrian, as he claimed, or exactly where he had come from. But they all agreed that greedy captains of industry and politicians had their own interests at heart and working men and women had to look out for themselves. Jim Tirjan’s post-WW II all-American boyhood echoed many of the major events of the century: wars, the Depression, Communist spies, the isolation of rural life, lives painfully disrupted in modern industrial society and our fascination with and dependence on the automobile. Grampa Tirjan labored at Baldwin Locomotive Works while Grandma Annie ran a boarding house. Jim’s mother bought a new 1931 Plymouth for $530 with housekeeping wages. Jim picked string beans with prisoners and earned a master’s degree. His story is told with humor and compassion and a great appreciation for the forces of history we ignore at our peril. Was Grampa Tirjan really an Austrian? Indeed and then some.
Description : "See if she is dark or fair, and if you can, notice if her hands be white; if not, see if they look as though she had ever done housework, or are milker's hands like mine." So Rhoda Brook, the abandoned mistress of Farmer Lodge, is jealous to discover details of his new bride in 'The Withered Arm', the title story in this selection of Hardy's finest short stories. Hardy's first story, 'Destiny and a Blue Cloak' was written fresh from the success of Far From the Madding Crowd. Beautiful in their own right, these stories are also testing-grounds for the novels in their controversial sexual politics, their refusal of romance structures, and their elegiac pursuit of past, lost loves. Several of the stories in The Withered Arm were collected to form the famous volume, Wessex Tales (1888), the first time Hardy denoted 'Wessex' to describe his fictional world. The Withered Arm is the first of a new two-volume selection of Hardy's short stories, edited with an introduction and notes by Kristin Brady.
Description : Cho Sun Jak is a prolific South Korean writer of many novels and short stories. Many of his works have been adapted successfully as TV dramas and films, but very few of his works have been available in English till now. He presents an honest and frank view of the reality behind the successful development of modern Korea, with humor and sensitivity. The well-known novella, "The Preview," depicts the Korean War through the eyes of a young boy, and the other stories in this collection reflect the aftermath of the war, the desperate lives of the poor, the corruption of moral values, and the pathos of the lives of good-hearted prostitutes. The translations capture well the atmosphere and values of the period in which the stories were written. Detailed notes clarify linguistic points and the social and cultural context.
Description : Brilliant short stories and a novella by the author of Moby-Dick "Billy Budd, Sailor," a classic confrontation between good and evil, is the story of an innocent young man unable to defend himself from wrongful accusations. Other selections include "Bartleby," "The Piazza," "The Encantadas," "The Bell-Tower," "Benito Cereno," "The Paradise of Bachelors," and "The Tartarus of Maids." For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Description : Celebrated title story plus "Little Hut," "Mrs. Frola and Mr. Ponza, Her Son-in-Law," "Citrons from Sicily," "With Other Eyes," "A Voice," and 5 other tales from the 1934 Nobel Prize-winning author.
Description : 'no one pitied him as he would have liked to be pitied' As Ivan Ilyich lies dying he begins to re-evaluate his life, searching for meaning that will make sense of his sufferings. In 'The Death of Ivan Ilyich' and the other works in this volume, Tolstoy conjures characters who, tested to the limit, reveal glorious and unexpected reserves of courage or baseness of a near inhuman kind. Two vivid parables and 'The Forged Coupon', a tale of criminality, explore class relations after the emancipation of the serfs in 1861 and the connection between an ethical life and worldly issues. In 'Master and Workman' Tolstoy creates one of his most gripping dramas about human relationships put to the test in an extreme situation. 'The Death of Ivan Ilyich' is an existential masterpiece, a biting satire that recounts with extraordinary power the final illness and death of a bourgeois lawyer. In his Introduction Andrew Kahn explores Tolstoy's moral concerns and the stylistic features of these late stories, sensitively translated by Nicolas Pasternak Slater. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Description : Interference & Other Stories of characters who express their feelings in a variety of ideas, thoughts and questions. Hoffman's writing makes us consider and question our own position on each subject covered in the book. The novel explores death, yearning, understanding and curiosity. We read about a police man who is still hurting from his son's death but is trying to move on by marrying his girlfriend. We learn about another man who is a recovered alcoholic and keeps busy by working in his car shop and being an advisor for a guy who is part of Alcoholics Anonymous. Additional stories are about a father and his son leaving the grocery store and a woman speaking to a marine over lunch asking questions about joining and what it is like. One story that I could relate to is "Sundown Jesus." A young man, Geory, goes to visit his uncle in a nursing home. When Geory gets there a doctor speaks with him about giving his uncle medication for his depression. Geory prefers to see his uncle first before giving permission. During his visit Geory finds that his uncle is ready to die. Other readers might find it easy to relate to because they may have elderly friends in nursing homes. The story that I found most compelling was "The Wrong Sunday." It starts out with a young boy, Marty, sleeping with a rosary. Instead of going to his parent's room after a bad dream he prays. When his family is getting ready for church, Marty is told that his grandfather has died. Marty's father does not handle this well and this sight hurts Marty. Marty starts to believe that his grandfather died because of a bad dream and is afraid that this can happen to him. The story is sad but opens our minds by looking into a topic that many children might think of. It also creates us as readers to revisit our bad dreams. Between these short stories there are short snip-bits about a guy. A guy who goes into a therapists office, a barbershop, a guy looking for work, one with a story and a guy going to heaven. The therapist one is humorous and makes you open your eyes, others convey a deep thought that might bore your mind. Overall, the best short story is the last story, "Interference." Hoffman examines the natural fights and frustration between family members as well as the need and crave for something that is so close. You'll read the ending at least three times, questioning what happened.