Tuesday, January 29, 2013

John O'Hara And Other Stories

Discovered this great set of short stories by John O’Hara. An interesting man, they say he was difficult, vain and a heavy drinker; they say he produced much of his pages through a hangover; they say he had a short temper, and all the above frequently overshadowed his gifts as a storyteller. John Updike, one of his consistent supporters, grouped him with Chekhov. By contrast, Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times dismissed him as "a well-known lout."

John O’Hara, A Natural Writer, By John UpdikeHe was too cantankerous and late-rising to hold a job for long, but this was a mercy in disguise; it kept him at what he did best, freelance writing.  

 - O'Hara was very successful in his day but hasn't really become a household name like his contemporaries Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Faulkner. Why do you think he’s fallen out of fashion?
 - He was well known as a short story and novella writer, then he drifted into writing bestselling novels (some made into very successful films) which I don’t think were his best work…

O’Hara (right) with Hemingway and Stork Club owner Sherman Billingsly, New York1934 

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