Revolutionary Road, The Easter Parade, Eleven Kinds of Loneliness

Introduction by Richard Price

Introduction by Richard Price
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Hardcover
$27.00 US
On sale Jan 06, 2009 | 696 Pages | 978-0-307-27089-4
Three classic works—including the virtuosic Revolutionary Road, soon to be a major motion picture—that exemplify the remarkable gifts of this great American master.

Richard Yates’s first novel, Revolutionary Road is the unforgettable portrait of a marriage built on dreams that tragically never come to fruition. In The Easter Parade, he tells the story of two sisters whose parents’ divorce overshadows their entire lives. And in the stories in Eleven Kinds of Loneliness, we witness men and women striving for better lives amid discouragement and disillusion.

“To me and to many other writers of my generation, the work of Richard Yates came as a liberating force . . . He was one of the most important and influential writers of the second half of the century.” —Robert Stone

“It is Yates’s relentless, unflinching investigation of our secret hearts, and his speaking to us in language as clear and honest and unadorned and unsentimental and uncompromising as his vision, that makes him such a great writer.” —Richard Russo
FROM THE INTRODUCTION BY RICHARD PRICE

As crystalline as he was on the page, in the flesh Richard Yates was a magnificent wreck, a chaotic and wild-hearted presence, a tall but stooped smoke-cloud of a man, Kennedyesque in dress and manner, gaunt and bearded with hung eyes and a cigarette-slaughtered voice, the words barreling out of him in a low breathless rumble as ash flew into salads, into beer mugs, into the laps of others with every gesture, his demeanor invariably lurching between courtly-solicitous and edge-of-bitter cavalier.

I first met Yates in 1974 at the School of the Arts, Columbia University, in an MFA fiction workshop. For a few thousand dollars a semester, he entered the room every week wearing a nubby sports jacket and askew knit tie to critique and counsel a table of students sporting frayed bell-bottoms, Prince Valiant bangs and sarcastic hats. It had been thirteen years since Revolutionary Road. Disturbing the Peace was a year away.

We were in our early twenties, and most of us had neither read nor even heard of him. In class he called you by your last name, no title: a brusque, slightly boarding-schoolish and utterly seductive form of address. He regularly and passionately savaged those writers whom he perceived to be his more validated (‘‘lucky,’’ he called them) peers, but he treated a student’s work, no matter how hapless, with shocking earnestness.

He was a nurturer of grudges; an incubator of slights.

His personal gods were Hemingway and Fitzgerald.
Richard Yates was born in 1926 in New York and lived in California. His prize-winning stories began to appear in 1953 and his first novel, Revolutionary Road, was nominated for the National Book Award in 1961. He is the author of eight other works, including the novels A Good School, The Easter Parade, and Disturbing the Peace, and two collections of short stories, Eleven Kinds of Loneliness and Liars in Love. He died in 1992. View titles by Richard Yates

About

Three classic works—including the virtuosic Revolutionary Road, soon to be a major motion picture—that exemplify the remarkable gifts of this great American master.

Richard Yates’s first novel, Revolutionary Road is the unforgettable portrait of a marriage built on dreams that tragically never come to fruition. In The Easter Parade, he tells the story of two sisters whose parents’ divorce overshadows their entire lives. And in the stories in Eleven Kinds of Loneliness, we witness men and women striving for better lives amid discouragement and disillusion.

“To me and to many other writers of my generation, the work of Richard Yates came as a liberating force . . . He was one of the most important and influential writers of the second half of the century.” —Robert Stone

“It is Yates’s relentless, unflinching investigation of our secret hearts, and his speaking to us in language as clear and honest and unadorned and unsentimental and uncompromising as his vision, that makes him such a great writer.” —Richard Russo

Excerpt

FROM THE INTRODUCTION BY RICHARD PRICE

As crystalline as he was on the page, in the flesh Richard Yates was a magnificent wreck, a chaotic and wild-hearted presence, a tall but stooped smoke-cloud of a man, Kennedyesque in dress and manner, gaunt and bearded with hung eyes and a cigarette-slaughtered voice, the words barreling out of him in a low breathless rumble as ash flew into salads, into beer mugs, into the laps of others with every gesture, his demeanor invariably lurching between courtly-solicitous and edge-of-bitter cavalier.

I first met Yates in 1974 at the School of the Arts, Columbia University, in an MFA fiction workshop. For a few thousand dollars a semester, he entered the room every week wearing a nubby sports jacket and askew knit tie to critique and counsel a table of students sporting frayed bell-bottoms, Prince Valiant bangs and sarcastic hats. It had been thirteen years since Revolutionary Road. Disturbing the Peace was a year away.

We were in our early twenties, and most of us had neither read nor even heard of him. In class he called you by your last name, no title: a brusque, slightly boarding-schoolish and utterly seductive form of address. He regularly and passionately savaged those writers whom he perceived to be his more validated (‘‘lucky,’’ he called them) peers, but he treated a student’s work, no matter how hapless, with shocking earnestness.

He was a nurturer of grudges; an incubator of slights.

His personal gods were Hemingway and Fitzgerald.

Author

Richard Yates was born in 1926 in New York and lived in California. His prize-winning stories began to appear in 1953 and his first novel, Revolutionary Road, was nominated for the National Book Award in 1961. He is the author of eight other works, including the novels A Good School, The Easter Parade, and Disturbing the Peace, and two collections of short stories, Eleven Kinds of Loneliness and Liars in Love. He died in 1992. View titles by Richard Yates