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A Grace Paley Reader: Stories, Essays, and Poetry
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One of The New Yorker's "Books We Loved in 2017"

"A writer like Paley," writes George Saunders, "comes along and brightens language up again, takes it aside and gives it a pep talk, sends it back renewed, so it can do its job, which is to wake us up." Best known for her inimitable short stories, Grace Paley was also an enormously talented essayist and poet, as well as a fierce activist. She was a tireless member of the antiwar movement, the civil rights movement, the tenants' rights movement, the anti-nuclear-power movement, and the Women's Pentagon Action, among other causes, and proved herself to be a passionate citizen of each of her communities—New York City and rural Vermont. A Grace Paley Reader compiles a selection of Paley's writing across genres, showcasing her breadth of work as well as her extraordinary insight and brilliant economy of words.

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Format:
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Street Date:
04/18/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780374715106
ASIN:
B01IA6FNYI
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APA Citation (style guide)

Grace Paley. (2017). A Grace Paley Reader: Stories, Essays, and Poetry. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Grace Paley. 2017. A Grace Paley Reader: Stories, Essays, and Poetry. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Grace Paley, A Grace Paley Reader: Stories, Essays, and Poetry. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Grace Paley. A Grace Paley Reader: Stories, Essays, and Poetry. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • bioText: Born in the Bronx in 1922, Grace Paley was a renowned writer and activist. Her Collected Stories was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Her other collections include Enormous Changes at the Last Minute and Just As I Thought. She died in Vermont on August 22, 2007.
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shortDescription

One of The New Yorker's "Books We Loved in 2017"

"A writer like Paley," writes George Saunders, "comes along and brightens language up again, takes it aside and gives it a pep talk, sends it back renewed, so it can do its job, which is to wake us up." Best known for her inimitable short stories, Grace Paley was also an enormously talented essayist and poet, as well as a fierce activist. She was a tireless member of the antiwar movement, the civil rights movement, the tenants' rights movement, the anti-nuclear-power movement, and the Women's Pentagon Action, among other causes, and proved herself to be a passionate citizen of each of her communities—New York City and rural Vermont. A Grace Paley Reader compiles a selection of Paley's writing across genres, showcasing her breadth of work as well as her extraordinary insight and brilliant economy of words.

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title
A Grace Paley Reader
fullDescription

One of The New Yorker's "Books We Loved in 2017"

"A writer like Paley," writes George Saunders, "comes along and brightens language up again, takes it aside and gives it a pep talk, sends it back renewed, so it can do its job, which is to wake us up." Best known for her inimitable short stories, Grace Paley was also an enormously talented essayist and poet, as well as a fierce activist. She was a tireless member of the antiwar movement, the civil rights movement, the tenants' rights movement, the anti-nuclear-power movement, and the Women's Pentagon Action, among other causes, and proved herself to be a passionate citizen of each of her communities—New York City and rural Vermont. A Grace Paley Reader compiles a selection of Paley's writing across genres, showcasing her breadth of work as well as her extraordinary insight and brilliant economy of words.

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      • premium: False
      • source: Alexandra Schwartz, New Yorker
      • content: "A welcome new collection of [Paley's] short stories, nonfiction, and poems . . . You can take the Reader to a rally and feel galvanized by Paley's conviction, or you can take it to bed late at night and find pleasure and comfort in humane prose."
      • premium: False
      • source: Diane Johnson, The New York Review of Books
      • content: "This new collection reminds us that Paley, despite her view of herself as writer/housewife, was not so much a writer who drifted onto political subjects from time to time; she was a full-time activist and moral leader who happened to be gifted at writing . . . Among the many pleasures of Paley's work is the reassurance it offers that, just as we survived the events of those years, by analogy, we may yet survive the things that menace us now . . . It's hard to think of another writer who has been admired for her virtuous, cheerful, and positive character as much as for her work."
      • premium: False
      • source: Nicholas Dames, The Atlantic
      • content: "If the Reader was intended as a memorial, published a decade after her death, it now seems more pressing--a necessary antidote to the current demoralization of the American left and the disorientation of what remains of the country's center. . . Of the voices of mid-century American radicalism, few could ever make perseverance seem so vital."
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from February 15, 2017
        Has there ever been an author like Paley?A poet and essayist but primarily a short story writer, she functioned, before her death in 2007 at age 84, as a kind of conscience to the culture, an activist who saw art-making as political from the start. Before she became a writer, she was a committed localist, working to improve Greenwich Village's parks and schools during the 1950s, when she had two school-age children of her own. This notion of community, and commitment, pervades her writing, presented in all its brilliant and elusive glory in this omnibus. Drawing from the efforts of a lifetime--the story collections The Little Disturbances of Man, Enormous Changes at the Last Minute, and Later the Same Day; the book of essays Just As I Thought; and a selection of more than 30 poems--the idea is to showcase her versatility. But if Paley is a better fiction writer than a poet or essayist (her short stories are among the finest produced by an American), the result is to remind us of her vision, her consistency. As a writer, Paley stands outside the usual categories, blurring naturalism with postmodernism, straddling the old world and the new. The collection highlights that without belaboring the point. Look at the magnificent "Goodbye and Good Luck," in which a spinster aunt confesses to her niece that she is getting married; "I was popular in certain circles, says Aunt Rose," the story begins. Or "A Conversation with My Father," which opens with a request: "I would like you to write a simple story just once more," the narrator's aging father asks. "Just recognizable people and then write down what happened to them next." Still, try as she might, the narrator can't hide the fact that this is the sort of writing, "the absolute line between two points," she has "always despised...because it takes all hope away. Everyone, real or invented, deserves the open destiny of life." For Paley, that's the key to her perspective, regardless of the genre in which she works. "What does a writer leave behind?" George Saunders asks in his introduction. "Scale models of a way of seeing and thinking." Think of the pieces here as a series of scale models that together encapsulate Paley's generous sensibility.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 1, 2017

        American writer Paley (1922&2007) was a trendsetter in her own time. Her activism and writing, which included short stories, essays, and poems, inspired several generations of young women. This collection, edited by poet and painter Bowen and Nora Paley (the author's daughter) is a timely reminder of how innovative and fresh Paley's writing was. The collection is arranged by genre--stories, essays, and poetry--showcasing the work's depth and breadth and a voice wryly humorous. The book includes excerpts from her fiction collections such as The Little Disturbances of Man and nonfiction such as Just As I Thought, as well as a number of poems. George Saunders provides a provocative and astute introduction. VERDICT The editors hope to preserve and introduce Paley's work to a new and younger generation of readers, and this volume should succeed admirably.--Pam Kingsbury, Univ. of North Alabama, Florence

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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