Born in the Bronx in 1922, Grace Paley was a renowned writer and activist. Her Collected Stories was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Her other collections include Enormous Changes at the Last Minute and Just As I Thought. She died in Vermont on August 22, 2007.
Grace Paley is one of the great writers of voice of the last century. There's an experience one has reading a stylist like her that has to do with how rich in truth the phrase-or-sentence-level bursts are and how quickly they follow upon one another ... A writer like Paley comes along and brightens language up again, takes it aside and gives it a pep talk, sends it back renewed, so it can do its job, which is to wake us up - George SaundersThese stories, brief and extended, burn with a high-energy commitment to the great work of being alive. They are stories full of the stories we all tell and live by, tall stories as well as short . . . And they are stories in which the whole of a world, its children, its dead, its furniture, its snacks, is lovingly and unsentimentally named. Named, and not forgiven. - Salman RushdieGrace Paley makes me weep and laugh - and admire. She is that rare kind of writer, a natural, with a voice like no one else's: funny, sad, lean, modest, energetic, acute - Susan SontagThis is a collection full of energy and stunning, quiet innovation ... it spills over with contempt, raucous humour, sadness and generosity. In it, life and language are synonymous, and there is no higher praise. What a wonderful bookPaley is as clever a mimic as Philip Roth, as cheerfully zany and aleatory in her vision of New York as Christina Stead, as serendipitous as Donald Bartheleme, but her unladylike gutsiness and friendliness are nonpareil - ObserverAn understanding of loneliness, lust, selfishness and fatigue that is splendidly comic and unladylike - PHILIP ROTHLargely set within the same small close-knit community in New York's Lower East Side ... ultimately what's at stake for Paley is whether to believe in the comic possibility of continuance or the tragic inevitablity of ending. Grace Paley's is an exceptiona - KASIA BODDY, GUARDIANAs long as there are human beings wondering who they are, and how they can be better - looking for a more full-hearted way of being In the world - there will be readers for the great, beloved, much-missed Grace Paley.