The Complete Stories

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Winner of the National Book Award

The publication of this extraordinary volume firmly established Flannery O'Connor's monumental contribution to American fiction. There are thirty-one stories here in all, including twelve that do not appear in the only two story collections O'Connor put together in her short lifetime--Everything That Rises Must Converge and A Good Man Is Hard to Find.

O'Connor published her first story, "The Geranium," in 1946, while she was working on her master's degree at the University of Iowa. Arranged chronologically, this collection shows that her last story, "Judgement Day"--sent to her publisher shortly before her death—is a brilliantly rewritten and transfigured version of "The Geranium." Taken together, these stories reveal a lively, penetrating talent that has given us some of the most powerful and disturbing fiction of the twentieth century. Also included is an introduction by O'Connor's longtime editor and friend, Robert Giroux.

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About the author

Flannery O'Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1925. When she died at the age of thirty-nine, America lost one of its most gifted writers at the height of her powers.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Published on
Jan 1, 1971
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Pages
576
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ISBN
9781466829022
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The early fiction of one of the nation’s most celebrated writers, Truman Capote, as he takes his first bold steps into the canon of American literature

Recently rediscovered in the archives of the New York Public Library, these short stories provide an unparalleled look at Truman Capote writing in his teens and early twenties, before he penned such classics as Other Voices, Other Rooms, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and In Cold Blood. This collection of more than a dozen pieces showcases the young Capote developing the unique voice and sensibility that would make him one of the twentieth century’s most original writers.

Spare yet heartfelt, these stories summon our compassion and feeling at every turn. Capote was always drawn to outsiders—women, children, African Americans, the poor—because he felt like one himself from a very early age. Here we see Capote’s powers of empathy developing as he depicts his characters struggling at the margins of their known worlds. A boy experiences the violence of adulthood when he pursues an escaped convict into the woods. Petty jealousies lead to a life-altering event for a popular girl at Miss Burke’s Academy for Young Ladies. In a time of extraordinary loss, a woman fights to save the life of a child who has her lover’s eyes.

In these stories we see early signs of Capote’s genius for creating unforgettable characters built of complexity and yearning. Young women experience the joys and pains of new love. Urbane sophisticates are worn down by cynicism. Children and adults alike seek understanding in a treacherous world. There are tales of crime and violence; of racism and injustice; of poverty and despair. And there are tales of generosity and tenderness; compassion and connection; wit and wonder. Above all there is the developing voice of a writer born in the Deep South who will use and eventually break from that tradition to become a literary figure like no other.

With a foreword by the celebrated New Yorker critic Hilton Als, this volume of early stories is essential for understanding how a boy from Monroeville, Alabama, became a legend in American literature.

Praise for The Early Stories of Truman Capote

“Succeeds at conveying the writer’s youthful rawness . . . These stories capture a moment when Capote was hungry to capture the rural South, the big city, and the subtle emotions that so many around him were determined to keep unspoken.”—USA Today

“A window on the young writer’s emerging voice and creativity . . . Capote’s ability to conjure a time, place and mood with just a few sentences is remarkable.”—Associated Press
From a National Book Award winner, “a volume of short stories that belongs alongside Raymond Carver . . . brilliant, moving, often gloriously funny” (The San Francisco Chronicle).

Spanning nearly thirty years in the career of the New York Times–bestselling author of Dog Soldiers, the stories collected here explore, acutely and powerfully, the humanity that unites us.
 
In “Miserere,” a widowed librarian with an unspeakable secret undertakes an unusual and grisly role in the anti-abortion crusade. In his classic story “Helping,” the author examines a moment of climactic confrontation in the life of Elliot, a therapist beset by his own demons. “Under the Pitons” is the harrowing story of a reluctant participant in a drug-running scheme and the grim and unexpected consequences of his involvement. The title story is a riveting account of the tangled lines that weave the relationship of a father and his grown daughter.
 
In these stories, Robert Stone’s characters tug at the edges of experience, laying bare the truths that keep us alive.
 
“Stone, one of contemporary fiction’s big talents, probes his characters to the existential core. At stake in these dazzling stories is nothing less than his characters’ souls.” —People
 
“The landscapes of drug addiction and war and its aftermath are depicted with rueful wit and furious intensity in these seven strongly imagined tales. . . . Combining Hemingway-like vigor with Kafkaesque despair . . . Stone has few contemporary peers, and no superiors.” —Kirkus Reviews
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