Mix yourself a martini and sit down with this collection of short stories written by one of America’s foremost authors, John O’Hara, who had more of his stories published in The New Yorker than any other in the history of the magazine. Sophisticated, witty, always sharply written, these stories are filled with a wide range of characters – society swells, dames and bartenders, young marrieds and stockbrokers. Written in the years 1930 – 1965, The New York Stories give us a glimpse into a world long gone.
Collected for the first time, the New York stories of John O'Hara, "among the greatest short story writers in English, or in any other language" (Brendan Gill, Here at The New Yorker)
Collected for the first time, here are the New York stories of one of the twentieth century’s definitive chroniclers of the city—the speakeasies and highballs, social climbers and cinema stars, mistresses and powerbrokers, unsparingly observed by a popular American master of realism. Spanning his four-decade career, these more than thirty refreshingly frank, sparely written stories are among John O’Hara’s finest work, exploring the materialist aspirations and sexual exploits of flawed, prodigally human characters and showcasing the snappy dialogue, telling details and ironic narrative twists that made him the most-published short story writer in the history of the New Yorker.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
About the Author
John O’Hara (1905-1970) was one of the most prominent American writers of the twentieth century. Championed by Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Dorothy Parker, he wrote seventeen novels, including Appointment in Samarra, his first; BUtterfield 8, which was made into a film starring Elizabeth Taylor; Pal Joey, which was adapted into a Broadway musical as well as a film starring Frank Sinatra; and Ten North Frederick, which won the National Book Award. He has had more stories published in The New Yorker than anyone else in the history of the magazine. Born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, he lived for many years in New York and in Princeton, New Jersey, where he died.
“You can binge on his collections, the way some people binge on Mad Men, and for some of the same reasons.” —Lorin Stein, editor of The Paris Review
“Don Draper is an O’Hara character if ever there was one. . . . The stories have the tang of genuine observation and reporting. . . . You’re aware of how brilliantly O’Hara uses dialogue to convey exposition, and of how often his people, like Hemingway’s, leave unsaid what is really on their minds. . . . O’Hara [was] a master of the short story . . . The New York anthology . . . is part of a welcome Penguin effort to reissue his work in paperback.”—Charles McGrath,The New York Times Book Review
“An author I love is John O’Hara. . . . I think he’s been forgotten by time, but for dialogue lovers, he’s a goldmine of inspiration.” —Douglas Coupland, Shelf Awareness
"Among the greatest short-story writers in English, or in any other language... [He helped] to invent what the world came to call TheNew Yorker short story." —Brendan Gill, Here at The New Yorker
"O'Hara occupies a unique position in our contemporary literature.... He is the only American writer to whom America presents itself as a social scene in the way it once presented itself to Henry James, or France to Proust." —Lionel Trilling, The New York Times
"This is fiction, but it has, for me, the clang of truth." —John Updike
“O’Hara’s eyes and ears have been spared nothing.” —Dorothy Parker
“A writer of dream-sharp tales, crisp yet dense.”—Los Angeles Times
“O’Hara practices the classic form of the modern short story developed by Joyce and perfected by Hemingway. . . . His coverage is worthy of a Balzac.” —E. L. Doctorow, from the Foreword
“Superb . . . The 32 stories inhabit the Technicolor vernaculars of taxi drivers, barbers, paper pushers and society matrons. . . . Undoubtedly, between the 1930s and the 1970s, [O’Hara] was American fiction’s greatest eavesdropper, recording the everyday speech and tone of all strata of midcentury society. . . . What elevates O’Hara above slice-of-life portraitists like Damon Runyon and Ring Lardner is the turmoil glimpsed beneath the vibrant surfaces.” —The Wall Street Journal
“His short stories are gorgeous broken scenes of American life . . . and his style and themes—a bridge, if you will, between F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Updike—remain painfully and beautifully relevant today.” —Huffington Post