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Book Title: All the Days and Nights: The Collected Stories|
The author of the book: William Maxwell
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 677 KB
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Reader ratings: 5.3
Date of issue: October 31st 1995
ISBN 13: 9780679761020
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It is rare for me to give a book of short stories 5 stars for the obvious reasons. Not every story is great, a few miss the mark entirely, and the rest fall somewhere in the middle. But in this case, EVERY SINGLE STORY was a mini masterpiece. A lot of them were about the same family, so there was continuity, and the settings were either in a small Illinois town just after WWI, or New York City in the 40's and 50's. Both induced nostalgia in me for times and places with no familiarity on my part. The last section of stories, which he calls "Improvisations" are 3-4 pages long, and read like fairy tales in which I could totally immerse myself.
I decided to take William Maxwell's advice and did not read these straight through, but one story each day.
"I think it is generally agreed that stories read better one at a time. They need air around them. And they need thinking about".
He was right.
He is right about a lot of things in his writing. So far, I have read one short novel They Came Like Swallows and this one, and he has a firm place at the top of my favorite authors list.
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Read information about the authorWilliam Keepers Maxwell Jr. was an American novelist, and fiction editor at the New Yorker. He studied at the University of Illinois and Harvard University. Maxwell wrote six highly acclaimed novels, a number of short stories and essays, children's stories, and a memoir, Ancestors (1972). His award-winning fiction, which is increasingly seen as some of the most important of the 20th Century, has recurring themes of childhood, family, loss and lives changed quietly and irreparably. Much of his work is autobiographical, particularly concerning the loss of his mother when he was 10 years old growing up in the rural Midwest of America and the house where he lived at the time, which he referred to as the "Wunderkammer" or "Chamber of Wonders". He wrote of his loss "It happened too suddenly, with no warning, and we none of us could believe it or bear it... the beautiful, imaginative, protected world of my childhood swept away." Since his death in 2000 several works of biography have appeared, including A William Maxwell Portrait: Memories and Appreciations (W. W. Norton & Co., 2004), My Mentor: A Young Man's Friendship with William Maxwell by Alec Wilkinson (Houghton-Mifflin, 2002), and William Maxwell: A Literary Life by Barbara Burkhardt (University of Illinois Press, 2005). In 2008 the Library of America published the first of two collections of William Maxwell, Early Novels and Stories, Christopher Carduff editor. His collected edition of William Maxwell's fiction, published to mark the writer's centenary, was completed by a second volume, Later Novels and Stories in the fall of 2008.'
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