Times Square and Other Stories

Able Muse Press
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 In William Baer’s Times Square and Other Stories, there are everyday characters walking extraordinary paths for love; there are smart, skillful characters struggling to reconcile their viewpoints and convictions with the status quo in fields such as art, education, the cinema and religious doctrine. There is baseball and the story of the skills, training and ethics of pitching in the big leagues. And there is war and an enemy invasion juxtaposed with a do-or-die chess game. The stories take us coast to coast from New York to LA, away to South America, and overseas to Eastern and Western Europe. This is a fun-filled, fact-filled collection that smoothly melds scholarship with the everyday for unique, fresh, and highly intelligent stories, which are also highly entertaining.

PRAISE FOR TIMES SQUARE AND OTHER STORIES:

How wonderful to come across such a serious collection of short stories! Not “serious” as in boring and tendentious; but serious as in grown-up, broadminded, large-hearted, sharply observed, and dryly, obliquely funny. Bill Baer’s fiction kicks ass.
            — Pinckney Benedict, author of Town Smoke

As elegantly written as they are inventive, the short stories in Times Square and Other Stories engage the reader all the way from the title piece, an ambitious tale that draws upon art, love, and the complex beauty of the human narrative, through eight other works that touch upon the timeless questions of what it means to create and to act, to be and to pretend. Baer’s collection achieves that Horatian goal so sorely lacking in much of contemporary fiction—informing while delighting at the same time. The obligation to craft is taken very seriously in these pages, but the effort that undoubtedly went into their composition could easily be overlooked due to the skill with which they are rendered, and the degree to which they are enjoyed.
            — A.G. Harmon, author of A House All Stilled

Times Square and Other Stories, William Baer’s twice-measured fictions, channel the reflecting reflections of James and Borges back into our self-conscious consciousness. Like the four-story signs plastering the “real” Times Square, these signs sing themselves, maps as detailed as the things they represent. These fictions resuscitate Poe’s unities of effects, breathing life back into the simulacrum of life. I loved this book; it can’t help but blurb itself!
            — Michael Martone, author of Four for a Quarter


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About the author

 William Baer, a recent Guggenheim fellow, is the author of eighteen books including The Ballad Rode into Town; Luís de Camões: Selected Sonnets; and Classic American Films: Conversations with the Screenwriters. His short stories have been published in The Iowa Review, Kansas Quarterly, The Chariton Review, The Dalhousie Review, and many other literary journals. He’s also a former Fulbright in Portugal and the recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship in fiction from the National Endowment for the Arts. 


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Additional Information

Publisher
Able Muse Press
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Published on
Aug 3, 2015
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Pages
218
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ISBN
9781927409442
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Poets include:
Willis Barnstone
Robert Conquest
Wendy Cope
Douglas Dunn
Anthony Hecht
John Hollander
Donald Justice
X. J. Kennedy
Maxine Kumin
Frederick Morgan
John Frederick Nims
W. D. Snodgrass
Derek Walcott
Richard Wilbur

When free verse and its many movements seemed to dominate poetry, other writers worked steadfastly, insistently, and majestically in traditional forms of rhyme and meter.

Such poets as Anthony Hecht, Donald Justice, Derek Walcott, and Richard Wilbur used sonnets, villanelles, blank verse, and many other forms to create dazzling, lasting work. Their writing posed a counterpoint to free verse, sustained a tradition in English language verse, and eventually inspired the movement called New Formalism.

"Fourteen on Form: Conversations with Poets" collects interviews with some of the most influential poets of the last fifty years. William Baer, editor of "The Formalist" asks incisive questions that allow writers to discuss in detail a wide range of topics related to their work, methods of composition, and the contemporary poetry scene.

Maxine Kumin reflects on being a woman poet during a period in which women were not encouraged to submit to journals. With clarity and passion, Walcott remembers the impetus of his famous "Eulogy to W. H. Auden." British poet Wendy Cope talks about the differences between how her barbed poems are received in England and abroad. The conversations return continually to the serious matter of poetic craft, especially the potential power of form in poetry.

These well-paced conversations showcase poets discussing their creative lives with insight and candor. The sum total of their forthright opinions in "Fourteen on Form" not only elucidates the current situation of the art form but also serves as a primer for understanding the fundamental craft of poetics.

William Baer is a professor of English at the University of Evansville and the editor of "The Formalist." He edited "Elia Kazan: Interviews and Conversations" with Derek Walcott (both published by University Press of Mississippi).

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
People • The New York Times Magazine • NPR • Entertainment Weekly • New York • The Telegraph • BuzzFeed • Kirkus Reviews • BookPage • Shelf Awareness

One of the most important and blazingly original writers of his generation, George Saunders is an undisputed master of the short story, and Tenth of December is his most honest, accessible, and moving collection yet.
 
In the taut opener, “Victory Lap,” a boy witnesses the attempted abduction of the girl next door and is faced with a harrowing choice: Does he ignore what he sees, or override years of smothering advice from his parents and act? In “Home,” a combat-damaged soldier moves back in with his mother and struggles to reconcile the world he left with the one to which he has returned. And in the title story, a stunning meditation on imagination, memory, and loss, a middle-aged cancer patient walks into the woods to commit suicide, only to encounter a troubled young boy who, over the course of a fateful morning, gives the dying man a final chance to recall who he really is. A hapless, deluded owner of an antiques store; two mothers struggling to do the right thing; a teenage girl whose idealism is challenged by a brutal brush with reality; a man tormented by a series of pharmaceutical experiments that force him to lust, to love, to kill—the unforgettable characters that populate the pages of Tenth of December are vividly and lovingly infused with Saunders’s signature blend of exuberant prose, deep humanity, and stylistic innovation.
 
Writing brilliantly and profoundly about class, sex, love, loss, work, despair, and war, Saunders cuts to the core of the contemporary experience. These stories take on the big questions and explore the fault lines of our own morality, delving into the questions of what makes us good and what makes us human.
 
Unsettling, insightful, and hilarious, the stories in Tenth of December—through their manic energy, their focus on what is redeemable in human beings, and their generosity of spirit—not only entertain and delight; they fulfill Chekhov’s dictum that art should “prepare us for tenderness.”

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“The best book you’ll read this year.”—The New York Times Magazine
 
“A feat of inventiveness . . . This eclectic collection never ceases to delight with its at times absurd, surreal, and darkly humorous look at very serious subjects. . . . Saunders makes you feel as though you are reading fiction for the first time.”—Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner
 
“The best short-story writer in English—not ‘one of,’ not ‘arguably,’ but the Best.”—Mary Karr, Time
 
“A visceral and moving act of storytelling . . . No one writes more powerfully than George Saunders about the lost, the unlucky, the disenfranchised.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
 
“Saunders’s startling, dreamlike stories leave you feeling newly awakened to the world.”—People
 
“It’s no exaggeration to say that short story master George Saunders helped change the trajectory of American fiction.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
GEORGE SAUNDERS WAS NAMED ONE OF THE 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD BY TIME MAGAZINE


From the Hardcover edition.
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