Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Alcoholism & the Short Story

I read again in a volume of short stories on alcoholism. It was 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. 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). I picked up Graywolf's first volume from a Hyde Park bookstore bout fifteen years ago. Since then, it's been a personal favorite as far as small literary presses go. There is something unpretentious and authentic about Graywolf, like its namesake, the endangered animal itself.


Anonymous kara said...

I know this is going to sound absurd and ridiculous, but I'm a student and I'm doing a project that involves alcoholism in short stories. I have discovered the anthology "The Invisible Enemy: Alcoholism and the Modern Short Story" that you're discussing here, but I cannot seem to find it anywhere to be able to locate the stories thare included in this anthology. In my search for the list of stories, I came across your blog. I was wondering if it would be at all possible for you to send me a list of the stories and the authors that are included in this anthology. I think this is absurd, but you would be doing me a HUGE favor, as I've been searching for hours and can't find the stories anywhere. Thank you so much!

11/19/2009 12:15 AM  
Blogger fromclay said...

Hi Kara,

I don't have the volume with me. I'm working out of the country and the book is in my library at home. Otherwise, I'd be glad to help you. Not absurd at all.

You may want to contact Graywolf Press, which published the book. If they're willing, they should be able to provide you a list of stories. You may go here.

I wish you success in your project.


11/19/2009 12:33 AM  
Anonymous kara said...

Thank you so much for your help and wishes for success! Hope you're enjoying your time out of the country!

11/19/2009 2:22 AM  

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