450th out of 1,530 books — 191 voters
The Collected Stories
This collection of fifty-six stories gathers work from Connell's entire writing career. Sometimes heartbreaking and often comic, these stories go to the heart of the American character.
Paperback, 675 pages
Published April 22nd 1997 by Counterpoint
(first published 1995)
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I don't always love Connell, but it's churlish or perhaps unfair to criticize the oeuvre of an author whose work really deserves a wider audience - certainly those who cherish the tough, hard, domestic stories of Cheever, Carver, etc should give this story collection a look. Connell is an elegant stylist with a knack for quiet, understated pathos. I dont think this edition is in print, but you can find it at a good used store.
After reading a selection of the stories, I wouldn't recommend it to everyone. He's got a gift for lyric passages and striking scenes (a lion pursuing a terrified cow up a hill, e.g.), but most of the stories feel awkward and clunky to me, and sometimes old-fashioned. (Like Cheever gone bad.)
Evan S. Connell, over the last half century, has published nineteen books of fiction, poetry, and essays, several of which—including the best-sellers Mrs. Bridge and Mr. Bridge, and the erudite, anecdotal, and totally unique nonfiction book Son of the Morning Star—are American classics. I've admired his work for many years, since first reading Diary of a Rapist, and was happy for a chance to inter...moreMore about Evan S. Connell...