Nights in Garden

Harvey Swados, Author Viking Books $19.95 (381p) ISBN 978-0-670-80974-5
The plain, unadorned style in which the 21 collected stories of the late Harvey Swados (1920-1972) are cast can be considered a reflection of his distinctive qualities of integrity, moral seriousness, forthrightness and absence of ""literary'' airs. The joking title of the lead story is no joke: he was quintessentially a New York writer, even in those tales set in foreign countries. His sensibility bore the marks of the city; the pervasive ideas and sympathies, political and social, recall the best aspects of the postwar years. To love the city in that enchanted way``my mother, my mistress, my Mecca''it is best to arrive there from elsewhere, as Swados's characters do (as he himself didfrom Buffalo), their heads filled with dreams of art, the bohemian life, high ideals and illusions. Together with stories featuring writers and other artists, Swados's fiction also evokes drab, working-class lives. Decades after they were written, the better tales in this memorial collection retain much of their original vigor, feeling and trenchancy. (October 6)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1986
Release date: 10/01/1986
Hardcover - 248 pages - 978-0-8369-3642-1
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-1-59017-084-7
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