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Cover for Fifty Stories

Fifty Stories

Kay Boyle


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Kay Boyle’s Fifty Stories is an eloquent testament to the possibility of living and writing with passion and honor. In Paris in the twenties, in Austria before and after the Anschluss, in New York, in occupied Germany, in California, Boyle has been an inspiration both as an exquisite stylist and as a chronicler of the nuances of human experience. Now in her ninetieth year, Kay Boyle dares us, in this most comprehensive collection of her stories, to explore the themes that have preoccupied her for a lifetime: “the inviolate integrity of the human soul, the impact of external events on the most intimate of feelings, our fractured experience of love versus duty, self-respect versus hubris, social convention versus personal ethic…She is still unquestionably modern” (Ann Hornaday, The New York Times Book Review). Acclaimed novelist Louise Erdrich has provided a very personal appreciation of Boyle’s power and grace. As she comments in the Introduction: “Kay is a citizen whose life and art are intertwined, one morally dependent on the other, both inexhaustible.”

New Directions, 9780811212069, 644pp.

Publication Date: June 17, 1992

About the Author

Kay Boyle (1902–1992) was a writer and political activist. She was twice awarded Guggenheim fellowships, won the O. Henry Award for best short story of the year in 1935 and again in 1941, held a number of honorary degrees, and occupied the Henry James chair of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1981, she was awarded a Senior Fellowship for Literature from the National Endowment for the Arts.