By Richard Stern
For many years, Richard Stern has been acclaimed as one of many American masters of the quick tale. Almonds to Zhoof: gathered tales brings jointly for the 1st time forty-nine of Stern's most sensible brief works and novellas-from "Dr. Cahn's Visit," which the hot Republic praised as "the best possible very brief tale within the English language," to classics like "Teeth" and "Wanderers."Stern's stories-witty, relocating, regularly filled with energy-never sacrifice storytelling to mere splendor or wandering knowledge. This assortment demonstrates Stern's incredible skill to painting humans from all walks of existence, their unsuitable relationships to rules, their occasionally strange relationships with fanatics and buddies, their frequently excellent, if skewed, value determinations of themselves. The tales continuously replicate an abiding compassion for his characters whoever they're and no matter what their origins. All exist in the politics and places of work and bedrooms of the true global. All are incorrigibly human.
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Additional info for Almonds to Zhoof: Collected Stories (Triquarterly Books)
That downspout near the back porch’s rotted out. You gotta get you a new one, for winter. ” “Sure it is. ” I go around with him to the back porch, he taps the spout, breaks off a rusted section. ” Ellen doesn’t want him doing any more jobs that require tools — he puts hinges on upside down, he broke our mailbox, he screwed up a toilet, he painted windows shut — but she won’t be home till late afternoon. “Fine. ” “Ten bucks, maybe twelve. ” If there’s a gene for honesty, he has it. ” He’s of two minds about this: it cuts down his work time, but he likes company.
Yet so considerate a person is pale, tiny Lester that he manages to ﬁnd some countervailing sweetness to enclose with the month’s misfortune. He has so large a family — ﬁve boys, three girls — that there is always a supply of each on which to draw. MAIL 35 Lester teaches musicology at a remote branch of the University of Arkansas. As the only faculty member who has published an article, he has become a ﬁgure of both awe and exoticism. “I am their Paris and their Greece,” he wrote me once. “But they are so remote.
Sandra Lukisch, Joachim (Jock) Fopper, Vernon Bowersock, and Lester Doyle, and even you, Frédéric Chopin (or your letter writer, Mme. Czernicka), though none of you has met or will meet except in my head, on my desk, you are citizens of the country of correspondence, the soul of commerce across time and space; you are society itself. Beloved correspondents, blessed institution, may the terrible convenience of speedier linkage never triumph completely over your clumsy, difﬁcult frailty. ” TEETH In the multiplied objects of the external world I had no thoughts but for the teeth.