Dictation: A Quartet - Cynthia Ozick

Cynthia Ozick is a meticulous writer, and her latest fiction is the bounty of a long life of careful reading, deep thought, natural wit, and a relish of all things human, from foibles to manners to graver questions of history, religion, and language. All this—and more—figures in Dictation: A Quartet (Mariner, $13.95) of novellas. Different from one another in tone and subject, these stories range from a tour de force of historic fiction, premised on a friendship between the assistants to Henry James and Joseph Conrad; to a New York theatre’s revival of a Yiddish play and an old man’s rage; to a marriage of mercy between a pregnant maid and a visiting journalist in Mussolini’s Italy; to a family mystery involving a universal language to rival Esperanto.

Dictation: A Quartet By Cynthia Ozick Cover Image
ISBN: 9780547237879
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - April 14th, 2009

The Suicide Run: Five Tales of the Marine Corps - William Styron

Written at various times in his illustrious literary career, the five stories in William Styron’s The Suicide Run (Random House, $24) are wrought from Styron’s experience as a Marine lieutenant at the end of World War II.  The title story refers to a young soldier recalled to service for the conflict in Korea, and the weekend trips he made from Camp Lejeune to Manhattan to visit his mistress.  The fullest and most satisfying piece is “My Father’s House,” which pairs a young Marine’s reminiscences of his father’s home in Virginia, his hope of returning to it, and his trouble re-assimilating to life in the South, with his more recent memories, some idyllic and some gut-wrenching, of time in Saipan awaiting orders for the invasion of Japan before the war was ended by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Carver: Collected Stories - Raymond Carver

Raymond Carver: Collected Stories (Library of America, $40) is a treasure. As we’ve come to expect from the Library of America, this edition is handsomely bound and contains not only all of Raymond Carver’s stories, collected and uncollected, but also essays, a chronology, notes on the text, and a brief biography. The real treat, though, is the inclusion of Beginners, the unedited collection of stories that was published as What We Talk about when We Talk about Love. This is a perfect gift for fans of Carver’s fiction or for anyone who wants to see him in a new light.