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James Salter (1) (1925–2015)

Author of A Sport and a Pastime

For other authors named James Salter, see the disambiguation page.

28+ Works 6,503 Members 199 Reviews 36 Favorited

About the Author

James Arnold Horowitz (June 10, 1925 - June 19, 2015), better known as James Salter, his pen name and later-adopted legal name, was an American novelist and short-story writer. Originally a career officer and pilot in the United States Air Force, he resigned from the military in 1957 following the show more successful publication of his first novel, The Hunters. Salter published a collection of short stories, Dusk and Other Stories in 1988. The collection received the PEN/Faulkner Award, and one of its stories ("Twenty Minutes") became the basis for the 1996 film, Boys. He was elected to The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2000. In 2012, PEN/Faulkner Foundation selected him for the 25th PEN/Malamud Award. Salter Died on June 19, 2015. He was 90. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by James Salter

Associated Works

Mrs. Bridge (1959) — Afterword, some editions — 1,054 copies
Phantoms on the Bookshelves (2008) — Introduction, some editions — 637 copies
Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris (1962) — Introduction, some editions — 410 copies
The Granta Book of the American Short Story (1992) — Contributor — 360 copies
Why I Write: Thoughts on the Craft of Fiction (1998) — Contributor — 183 copies
The Best American Essays 1993 (1993) — Contributor — 119 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1984 (1984) — Contributor — 101 copies


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Common Knowledge



The history of my family and he didn't even change anyone's name.
adaorhell | 51 other reviews | Oct 14, 2023 |
L'ho finito da un po' di giorni e non è facile scrivere un commento. In realtà non credo di essermi ancora costruita la mia opinione, penso tante cose diverse, ma non c'è un filo che le unisca. Cominciamo dal fatto che il libro si intitoli Una perfetta felicità e tutto, davvero tutto, io l'ho trovato permeato di tristezza. Non una cosa manifesta, o plateale, una sorta di nota di fondo quasi impercettibile ma sempre presente. Ho maturato quasi l'idea che l'eleganza, quella vera, profonda, sia un tutt'uno con la tristezza. Ad ogni modo questo romanzo ha una potenza evocativa fortissima, con poche pennellate costruisce delle scene nitide e grandiose, visualizzavo quello che leggevo come stessi guardando un film, il grande fiume al tramonto, le pareti accoglienti della casa, mi sembrava quasi di sentire le tavole del pavimento sotto i piedi, di bere ai loro bicchieri, sentire il profumo che emanava dai loro capelli. Non è una storia avvincente, perché non è quel tipo di romanzo. Credo che anch'io mi sarei innamorata di Nedra e allo stesso modo, dopo essermi ubriacata di lei, lei mi avrebbe distrutta. No, non lo avrebbe fatto apposta, era la sua natura, ricercare, con ingenua crudeltà, la propria felicità.… (more)
Mav_Danto | 29 other reviews | Jul 28, 2023 |
For me, the most interesting element to this novel was the narration. It starts out as a typical first-person narrative. An American man arrives in France boards a train and describes what he sees and experiences. It continues in this vein until the narrator meets and befriends Philip Dean. Soon after this Philip meets and falls in love with Ann Marie and all of a sudden, it's a story of a torrid love affair between Dean & Ann Marie, only it's still being told by the original narrator. And when I say torrid I do mean torrid. The sexual descriptions are of such specific detail they can only be told by a third-person omniscient perspective. And yet this drastic shift occurs so smoothly we almost don't feel it. The narrator still sounds exactly the same as the man telling the story about himself although he has become a mere bit player in the story.… (more)
1 vote
kevinkevbo | 42 other reviews | Jul 14, 2023 |
I should preface this by saying that I���m not typically a big fan of contemporary short stories: I���m certainly not one to go in for many of the often formulaic and derivative New Yorker style pieces that seem to abound in just about every magazine and collection���often the very ones that get praised so highly. I���m much more interested in short stories that work well, and I���ve found that this is only the case for those who pioneered the form and who were masters at it: Poe, James, Mansfield, Borges, and company. However, I am trying to make an effort in 2013 to read more short stories, so I picked up Salter���s only short story collection today.

������Imagine my surprise: me, a reader who prefers novels, besotted by the only short story collection this man wrote. I���m not even sure what Salter does that is so bewitching: his prose is simplistic; his sentences tend to be laconic and terse. But he does very intriguing things with temporality, and he���s able to move adroitly from one character���s perspective to another���s without leaving the reader feeling jarred or causing his narrative to flounder. There is also a skill evident here when it comes to shifting levels of consciousness and memory���for example, in ���Twenty Minutes,��� a woman who has been thrown from her horse, and knowing she has twenty minutes before shock gives way to full-blown pain, relives the most pressing memories in her life in a nonlinear fashion that isn���t Salter writing stream-of-consciousness so much as him proving to be incisive in getting at people���s various states of psychological unrest and feelings of loneliness.

This is also a wide-ranging collection: the title story is one of the strongest���so it���s no surprise that the collection is named after it���and deals with the static life of a woman turned forty-nine, her regrets and her conflicted ways of dealing with those in her every day life; one piece looks at the levels of camaraderie, resentment, and jealousy in our adult relationships as they are formed in early life by focusing on a reunion at West Point; and another story offers an hallucinatory midnight stroll through the suburbs as a man who is a recovering alcoholic either falls off the wagon or, and Salter is really superb in this piece (���Akhnilo���), is completely sober.

I���ve reached the ten-minute deadline I give myself for most reviews on here, but I don���t yet feel that I���ve been able to convey just how Salter���s prose struck me here���nor can I attempt to describe just what he does. But whatever he does, he does remarkably well and with such grace and ease that it���s a marvel the complex depths he plumbs here.
… (more)
proustitute | 11 other reviews | Apr 2, 2023 |



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Associated Authors

Beatrice Howeg Übersetzer, Translator
Jeff Woodman Narrator
Richard Ford Introduction
Joe Barrett Narrator
Ton Heuvelmans Translator
Bill Brandt Cover photographer
Philip Gourevitch Introduction
Else Hoog Translator
Megan Wilson Cover designer
Michael Dirda Foreword


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