A masterful, multifaceted story collection from one of American literature’s most influential writers and teachers
As a creative writing teacher whose students included Raymond Carver, Joy Williams, and Andre Dubus, and as longtime editor of The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, R. V. Cassill profoundly impacted the development of the short story in America. The ten stunning tales in The Father and Other Stories exhibit his mastery of the form and the breathtaking scope of his vision.
In “This Hand, These Talons,” a former combat pilot grapples with the dislocations of peacetime. “The Prize,” an O. Henry Award winner, is a tender yet clear-eyed portrait of the growing pains of a Depression-era adolescence. “And in My Heart” is a richly nuanced portrayal of a writing teacher’s obsessive involvement in the ill-fated romance of two of his students. The haunting title story, a widely anthologized masterpiece, illustrates a man’s descent into guilt and despair after he is forced to amputate his son’s hand to save the boy from dying in a farming accident.
Across a broad range of characters, tones, and settings, Cassill finds beauty and insight wherever he looks. The Father and Other Stories is proof of his tremendous skill as a storyteller and his enduring influence on contemporary literature.