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The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford Paperback – August 25, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Revised edition (September 14, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374529930
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374529932
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.3 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #362,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The appearance of these stories in one volume is an event in our literature. To have built up so distinguished a collection, each story excellent in its own way and each an original departure in relation to the others, is a triumph. " --Guy Davenport, New York Times Book Review

About the Author

Jean Stafford (1915-79) was the author of three novels as well as several children's and nonfiction books. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1970.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
A must for those who love to read and/or write short stories.
scott89119
I urge you to get this book and read "In the Zoo", after which you are free to skip around, or start at the beginning, but get the book!
Kyle P. Wagner
She is a brilliant stylist and intellectual and her characters are truly memorable.
Book Maven 2005

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Kyle P. Wagner on November 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
I encountered Stafford's story "In the Zoo" in a collection, and was mesmerized immediately. These are easily some of the best stories I've ever read, and I dare say among the best ever produced by a writer of the United States. (via The New Yorker) Each story is a complete work; almost like a full-length novel. I was surprised I'd never heard of her, but then, not really. So many writers of this generation have gone the way of so many neighborhoods of this time, and so many old houses. Some people know they're there, but the greater population is looking elsewhere. If you care to peek in, you will find a glimpse of who may have inhabited those houses in Jean Staffords writing.

I urge you to get this book and read "In the Zoo", after which you are free to skip around, or start at the beginning, but get the book!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By scott89119 VINE VOICE on May 10, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a generous, staggering collection that exhibits over and over again the power of the short story when in the hands of a master of the craft. Stafford's emphasis here is on the outsider, the lonely one, and in dozens of stories she portrays them in different guises, forced to face difficult situations with a cold eye on reality. The writing is pitch-perfect for short stories; each character is fleshed out in Stafford's beautifully expressive language, each story is an original departure from the others, and each is tied up with bittersweet, haunting resolution. On a side note, Stafford is a maser of choosing the just-right final sentence, which adds new layers of depth to each story. Each one is enjoyable, with personal highlights for me being "Caveat Emptor," "A Reading Problem," and "Children are Bored on Sundays," the last of which I will be returning to time and time again. While this volume is not as well-known as Katherine Anne Porter or John Cheever's collections, the quality is all the same. A must for those who love to read and/or write short stories.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Book Maven 2005 on November 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
Came across Children are Bored on Sundays while reading a book of collected New Yorker short stories. Was intrigued and read this book. Simply wonderful and could not put it down. She is a brilliant stylist and intellectual and her characters are truly memorable. Sometimes her depictions are laugh-out-loud funny and sometimes they hold you in contemplation afterwards. I have not read a book in ages like this that makes me have to get out a dictionary to look up the meanings of the words she uses. I especially loved The Echo and the Nemesis, Influx of Poets, Bad Characters, In the Zoo, and A Reading Problem. Her ability to describe the behavior of children is so accurate it's amazing.

I have looked for biographies of her, where I learned she grew up in Colorado and was married unhappily to the poet Robert Lowell, which shed some insight on a few of the stories. Apparently there are only three bios out and none of them very good. I hope someone else will write one someday so we may learn more about this fascinating author.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bobby G on September 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am reading every Pulitzer Prize winning novel since the award was created so since this was on
the list, I read it. The stories vary from really good to what did I just read. The author has an
outstanding vocabulary and uses it. She is a sophisticated writer and that may put the average reader off
but she is interesting and each story is unique.
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The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford
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