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The Stories of J.F. Powers by J. F. Powers
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The Stories of J.F. Powers (1999)

by J. F. Powers

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Great, wry short stories. I find it odd that the back cover suggests Powers, together with some other authors, has "given the short story an unmistakably American cast," since that would normally suggest look at me pyrotechnics, film-like set pieces and soul searching nonsense about what it means to be an American. I would put Powers next to Flaubert's Three Tales and Trollope's Barsetshire novels, the first because perfectly written, the second because affectionately amused at the world.
Particularly great: "Keystone," "The Devil Was the Joker," "Prince of Darkness," and "Lions, Harts, Leaping Does." It's always a good sign when the longest stories in a collection are the best, I think. ( )
  stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0940322226, Paperback)

Hailed by Frank O'Connor as one of "the greatest living storytellers," J. F. Powers, who died in 1999, stands with Eudora Welty, Flannery O'Connor, and Raymond Carver among the authors who have given the short story an unmistakably American cast. In three slim collections of perfectly crafted stories, published over a period of some thirty years and brought together here in a single volume for the first time, Powers wrote about many things: baseball and jazz, race riots and lynchings, the Great Depression, and the flight to the suburbs. His greatest subject, however—and one that was uniquely his—was the life of priests in Chicago and the Midwest. Powers's thoroughly human priests, who include do-gooders, gladhanders, wheeler-dealers, petty tyrants, and even the odd saint, struggle to keep up with the Joneses in a country unabashedly devoted to consumption.

These beautifully written, deeply sympathetic, and very funny stories are an unforgettable record of the precarious balancing act that is American life.

Table of Contents
The Lord's Day
The Trouble
Lions, Harts, Leaping Does
Jamesie
He Don't Plant Cotton
The Forks
Renner
The Valiant Woman
The Eye
The Old Bird, A Love Story
Prince of Darkness
Dawn
Death of a Favorite
The Poor Thing
The Devil Was the Joke
A Losing Game
Defection of a Favorite
Zeal
Blue Island
The Presence of Grace
Look How the Fish Live
Bill
Folks
Keystone
One of Them
Moonshot
Priestly Fellowship
Farewell
Pharisees
Tinkers

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:55 -0400)

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