cover image Richard Kennedy: Collected Stories

Richard Kennedy: Collected Stories

Richard Kennedy. HarperCollins Publishers, $14.95 (270pp) ISBN 978-0-06-023255-9

Kennedy's keen wit, his ear for dialogue and eye for detail, and above all his precise and versatile handling of language rank him among the finest modern storytellers. It's pure pleasure to have in one volume 16 of his short, early works, originally published as picture books, many of which are no longer in print in their original editions. That these picture book texts translate so successfully to the short-story format is a credit to the scope and substance of Kennedy's work. From the fable-like ""Crazy in Love'' to the slyly funny ``The Mouse God,'' to the four tales of magical transformation that comprise ``The Blue Stone,'' these are stories strong in humor and narrative and rich in their observations of human foibles. Brief notes from the authorsometimes touching, often humorousintroduce each story. Sewell's illustrations provide additional shots of the irony and comedy found throughout this elegant volume. Ages 6-11. (November)