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Alcohol and Short Stories 21 December 2007

Posted by mecca in ABUSHARIF, Reviews, Sociology.

I looked for something to read a slow Sunday evening and pulled down a volume of short stories on alcoholism, a Graywolf Press collection of short fiction from masters (like Raymond Carver, John Cheever, Frank O’Connor, and Langston Hughes) who had honest and pointed observations to make about liquor and its impact on the lives of families and individuals. Appropriately, the stories are free of nasal moralizing; the narratives allow the movement of plot and characters to carry the day. The introduction begins this way:

Whether its purpose is social or business, to celebrate or to mourn, Americans have come to expect the presence of alcohol whenever they come together. If anyone should drink too much, it is not seen as a problem but rather shrugged off as a mistake or an amusing peccadillo. Few people are comfortable making an issue of drinking because alcohol is such an accepted ingredient in our way of life.

The book is: The Invisible Enemy: Alcoholism and the Modern Short Story (Graywolf Press, St. Paul, MN, 1989). Ever since I picked up its first volume from a Hyde Park (Chicago) bookstore, about fifteen years ago, Graywolf has been a personal favorite of mine as far as small literary presses go. There is something unpretentious about Graywolf, kind of like its namesake, the endangered animal itself.



1. darvish - 31 December 2007

Happy New Year to you and your family. May Allah bless you all with health, happiness, and ever increasing love and wisdom. Ameen.

Ya Haqq!

2. Anonymous - 8 February 2008


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