The Stories of Frederick Busch
A selection of short stories from a twentieth-century “American master” (Dan Cryer, Newsday).
A contemporary of Ann Beattie and Tobias Wolff, Frederick Busch was a master craftsman of the form; his subjects were single-event moments in so-called ordinary life. The stories in this volume, selected by Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout, are tales of families trying to heal their wounds, save their marriages, and rescue their children. In "Ralph the Duck," a security guard struggles to hang on to his marriage. In "Name the Name," a traveling teacher attends to students outside the school, including his own son, locked in a country jail. In Busch's work, we are reminded that we have no idea what goes on behind closed doors or in the mind of another. In the words of Raymond Carver, "With astonishing felicity of detail, Busch presents us with a world where real things are at stake—and sometimes, as in the real world, everything is risked."
From his first volume, Hardwater Country (1974), to his most recent, Rescue Missions (2006), this volume selects thirty stories from an "American master" (Dan Cryer, Newsday), showcasing a body of work that is sure to shape American fiction for generations to come.
Praise For The Stories of Frederick Busch…
— Ward Just
These luminous, risky stories by Frederick Busch make art out of the complications of everyday life. They come from a brilliant mind and a large heart, and their many pleasures and insights resonate long after the reading.
— Hilma Wolitzer
Frederick Busch faced every emotion with an open heart and tirelessly energetic language. Never unkind to his characters, he forgave inadequacy if it was genuine, an honest struggle. And of all the writers I can think of, Fred was the most impatient with inauthentic feeling. That richness of spirit, that passion and wit, made his stories indispensable. This book is a great a gift to keep his voice with us and to bring it to those who’ve never had the pleasure of hearing it.
— Rosellen Brown
[His stories] depict a range of small human dramas evoked with emotional intelligence and perfect pitch.
— Amanda Heller - Boston Globe
A master craftsman.
— New York Times Book Review
Showcases his mastery of the short story form…cement[s] Busch’s status as an exemplary craftsman.
— Publishers Weekly
You can count on Busch's prose to be startlingly revelatory, and the brilliance of his sentences endures even out of context… this collection will make more people see Frederick Busch for the master he was, one whose talent for subtle impact was downright maximal.
— Katie Arnold-Ratliff - New York Times Book Review
Deserves to place this ‘writer’s writer’ in the more widely read company of short-story masters like Raymond Carver and Richard Ford, with whom he is often compared.
— Emily Rapp - Boston Globe
W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393239546, 512pp.
Publication Date: December 2, 2013
About the Author
Elizabeth Strout is the author of four novels including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Olive Kitteridge and, most recently, The Burgess Boys. She lives in New York.