Clouds and Eclipses
The Collected Short Stories
By Gore Vidal
(Da Capo Press, Paperback, 9780786718108, 160pp.)
Publication Date: July 2006
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Celebrated for more than fifty years as a world-renowned novelist, essayist, and political figure and commentator, Gore Vidal is less known for the exquisitely crafted short fiction he wrote as a young man. Like the work of Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams, his stories have been overshadowed by the author’s triumphs writing in other genres. Still, Vidal’s short fiction offers us a portrait of the young artist in the 1940s and 1950s. His subtle and comic tales often center on adolescence and homosexual themes. In Three Stratagems, a middle-aged gay man encounters a male prostitute while vacationing in Key West. In The Zenner Trophy, the star athlete at an elite boys school is expelled for sexual relations with a classmate. These stories were gathered along with five others into a 1956 volume, A Thirsty Evil, and for decades were thought to comprise Vidal’s complete short fiction.
Gore Vidal is the author of twenty-two novels, five screenplays, more than two hundred essays, and a memoir. Winner of the National Book Award for United Sates: essays 1952-92, Vidal lives in Los Angeles.