This definitive collection of Lish’s short work includes a new foreword by the author and 106 stories, many of which Lish has revised exclusively for this edition. His observations are in turn achingly sad and wryly funny as they spark recognition of our common, clumsy humanity. There are no heroes here, except, perhaps, for all of us, as we muddle our way through life: these are stories of unfaithful husbands, inadequate fathers, restless children and men lost in their middle age: more often than not first-person tales narrated by one “Gordon Lish.” The take on life is bemused, satirical, and relentlessly accurate; the language unadorned. The result is a model of modernist prose and a volume of enduring literary craftsmanship.
The second volume includes the stories from “After the Beanstalk” to “How the Sophist Got Spotted”.
Cover image adapted from a photo by Lainey Powell.