cover image The Paris Review Anthology

The Paris Review Anthology

George Plimpton. W. W. Norton & Company, $59.95 (688pp) ISBN 978-0-393-02769-3

A cornucopia of fiction, poetry and prose from 35 years of the prestigious Paris Review , this rich collection comprises 187 items, many by award-winning authors, constituting a stunning array of literary strategies. Some of the stories by such authors as Evan Connell, Philip Roth and James Salter have attained the status of classics. Among the finest recent works, Rick Bass's ``Wild Horses'' entwines human sorrow with the suffering of animals; people who inhabit others' lives appear in Raymond Carver's ``Why Don't You Dance'' and Joy Williams's ``Making Friends.'' Skewed, offbeat humor and incendiary wit surfaces in tales by Steven Dixon, Thomas M. Disch and T. Coraghessan Boyle. Reminiscences/interviews feature excerpts from the famed Writers-at-Work series (``Portraits'' of, e.g., Yeats, Eliot, Faulkner and Frost); a profile of Lady Diana Cooper, author and friend of literary figures, by Shasha Guppy; and Bobby Anderson's riveting memoir of drug-addicted Edie Sedgwick, a doomed beauty in Andy Warhol's coterie. The diction of the poetry ranges from the tautly formalist to the magically charged, from the resilient accents of stylized speech to the intimately confessional. Arranged in five sections covering seven years each, the anthology conveys the sense that language is potent and redemptive; introductory notes are full of nuggets of literary and publishing history, and reflect the views of a succession of editors. (Mar.)