True Tales of American Life
Chosen by Paul Auster out of the four thousand stories submitted to his radio programme on National Public Radio, these 180 stories provide a wonderful portrait of America in the twentieth century. The requirement for selection was that each of the stories should be true, and each of the writers should not have been previously published. The collection that has emerged provides a richly varied and authentic voice for the American people, whose lives, loves, griefs, regrets, joys and sense of humour are vividly and honestly recounted throughout, and adeptly organised by Auster into themed sections. The section composed of war stories stretches as far back as the Civil War, still the defining moment in American history; while the sequence of ‘Meditations’ conclude the volume with a true and abiding sense of transcendence.
The resultant anthology is both an enduring hymn to the strange everyday of contemporary American life and a masterclass in the art of storytelling.
'It is difficult to think of another book published this year, and probably any book to be published next year, that is so simple and so obvious, so excellent in intention and so elegant in its execution, and which displays such wisdom and such knowledge of human life in all its varieties.' Ian Sansom, Guardian; 'Fantastic... Glows with the truth of shared human experience.' The Face; 'Astonishing... This is writing at its very finest.' Independent
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