Reviews

The New Yorker Stories

S. K. Page

The twenty-one stories by Morley Callaghan that appeared in The New Yorker between 1928 and 1938 have been gathered into a small volume by the author’s son Barry, who is the publisher of Exile Editions.

Reading these stories today is a little like reading Ben Katchor’s cartoon narratives: they are strongly flavoured with anachronism. People in Callaghan’s stories say “Cut it out,” “So long, kid,” “You don’t go hitting me, Billy,” “You said yourself you were fed up,” and other phrases from a dimension separated by only a few degrees from the one we now inhabit. These are stories that you look right through: they seem to be transparent, which intensifies the sense of time travel.

In The New Yorker Stories you peer directly into the lives of people who live downtown near barber shops and corner stores, rendered in the clean, modern prose that few writers in any generation achieve.

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