The New York Stories

      John O'Hara
The New York Stories

Collected for the first time, the New York stories of John O'Hara, "among the greatest short story writers in English, or in any other language" (Brendan Gill, Here at The New Yorker)

Collected for the first time, here are the New York stories of one of the twentieth century’s definitive  chroniclers of the city—the speakeasies and highballs, social climbers and cinema stars, mistresses and powerbrokers, unsparingly observed by a popular American master of realism. Spanning his four-decade career, these more than thirty refreshingly frank, sparely written stories are among John O’Hara’s finest work, exploring the materialist aspirations and sexual exploits of flawed, prodigally human characters and showcasing the snappy dialogue, telling details and ironic narrative twists that made him the most-published short story writer in the history of the New Yorker.

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    BUtterfield 8

      John O'Hara
BUtterfield 8

A bestseller upon its publication in 1935, BUtterfield 8 was inspired by a news account of the discovery of the body of a beautiful young woman washed up on a Long Island beach. Was it an accident, a murder, a suicide? The circumstances of her death were never resolved, but O’Hara seized upon the tragedy to imagine the woman’s down-and-out life in New York City in the early 1930s.

“O’Hara understood better than any other American writer how class can both reveal and shape character,” Fran Lebowitz writes in her Introduction. With brash honesty and a flair for the unconventional, BUtterfield 8 lays bare the unspoken and often shocking truths that lurked beneath the surface of a society still reeling from the effects of the Great Depression. The result is a masterpiece of American fiction.

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    Ten North Frederick

      John O'Hara
Ten North Frederick

This is the story of a family of the 'best' people, living in Gibbsville, Pa. Three generations of the Chapin family are portrayed with intimacy and uncompromising clarity. Many other people at all levels of the social ladder are portrayed as well, and what they do and say to one another is often shocking.

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    Appointment in Samarra

      John O'Hara
Appointment in Samarra

O’Hara did for fictional Gibbsville, Pennsylvania what Faulkner did for Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi: surveyed its social life and drew its psychic outlines, but he did it in utterly worldly terms, without Faulkner’s taste for mythic inference or the basso profundo of his prose. Julian English is a man who squanders what fate gave him. He lives on the right side of the tracks, with a country club membership and a wife who loves him. His decline and fall, over the course of just 72 hours around Christmas, is a matter of too much spending, too much liquor, and a couple of reckless gestures. That his calamity is petty and preventable only makes it more powerful. In Faulkner, the tragedies all seem to be taking place on Olympus, even when they’re happening among the low-lifes. In O’Hara, they could be happening to you.

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