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This is book number 2 in the Library of America Peter Taylor Edition series.
For the first time, the complete stories of the Pulitzer Prize–winning master chronicler of tradition and transformation in the twentieth-century South
Born and raised in Tennessee, Peter Taylor was the great chronicler of the American Upper South, capturing its gossip and secrets, its divided loyalties and morally complicated legacies in tales of pure-distilled brilliance. Now, for his centennial year, the Library of America and acclaimed short story writer Ann Beattie present an unprecedented two-volume edition of Taylor’s complete short fiction, all fifty-nine of the stories published in his lifetime in the order in which they were composed.
This second volume presents thirty stories including many of his most ambitious works, among them “Dean of Men,” a monologue delivered by a middle-aged father to his long-haired son about the limits of idealism; “In the Miro District,” a parable of the Old South’s enduring persistence in the New; and “The Old Forest,” one of Taylor’s most celebrated works, the story of a young man who jeopardizes his impending marriage by consorting with a girl deemed beneath his station. Here too are all five of Taylor’s remarkable prose poems, stories in free verse that demonstrate that great fiction is, at its highest pitch, a line-by-line, image-by-image high-wire act. Two of the stories in this volume, “A Cheerful Disposition” and “The Megalopolitans,” are collected here for the first time.
LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
About the Author
Peter Matthew Hillsman Taylor (1917-1994) was the author of fifty-nine published stories, several plays, and three novels, including A Summons to Memphis (1986) and the Pulitzer Prize-winning In the Tennessee Country (1994). In 1978 he was awarded the Gold Medal in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and in 1993 the PEN/Malamud Award for his lifetime contribution to the art of the short story.
Ann Beattie, editor, is the author of nine novels and eleven short story collections. She is a recipient of the PEN/Malamud Award and the Rea Award, both given in acknowledgment of her lifetime contribution to the art of the story. She is the former Edgar Allan Poe Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Virginia, where one of her colleagues was Peter Taylor.
“The undisputed master of the short-story form.” --Anne Tyler
“Only Eudora Welty has acomplished a body of fiction so rich, durable, and accessible as Taylor’s.”
"The stories in these volumes define their time and place with an unrivaled precision."
--Michael Gorra, in The New York Review of Books