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In the Absence of Angels

(1951)
A collection of stories by

 
 
The debut short story collection that launched the career of one of the twentieth century's most vivid writers, featuring the celebrated tale "In Greenwich There Are Many Gravelled Walks"

In this captivating collection of fifteen short stories, many of which first appeared in the New Yorker, Hortense Calisher's lyrical prose captures the quotidian lives of individuals dealing with alienation, loneliness, and assimilation. Highly influenced by her own New York upbringing, Calisher brings an all-knowing and compassionate verve to these intimate stories.

The opening piece, "In Greenwich There Are Many Gravelled Walks," is an elegantly constructed tale of a man who becomes particularly introspective after dropping his loving but alcoholic mother off at a sanitarium. In "Heartburn," Calisher deftly sketches a time and place through portraits of watering holes that resemble their own camaraderie-filled communities. The unforgettable title story captures the end of a love affair.

With her distinctive language and psychological clarity, Calisher meticulously builds truths through her characters and their understandings.

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