Cover image for In the stacks : short stories about libraries and librarians
In the stacks : short stories about libraries and librarians
Cart, Michael.
First edition.
Publication Information:
Woodstock, NY : Overlook Press, 2002.
Physical Description:
268 pages ; 24 cm
A general in the library / Italo Calvino -- The phoenix / Ursula K. LeGuin -- Gloss on a decision of the Council of Nicaea / Joanne Greenberg -- Miss Vincent / Maria Dabrowska -- Who is it can tell me who I am? / Gina Berriault -- The public library / Isaac Babel -- Community life / Lorrie Moore -- The cobweb / Zona Gale -- The retirement party / Lisa Koger -- Summer librarian / Sue Kaufman -- QL 696.C9 / Anthony Boucher -- Ed has his mind improved / Walter R. Brooks -- The tractate middoth / M.R. James -- The story of St. Vespaluus / Saki -- The trouble of Marcie Flint / John Cheever -- Rubber life / Francine Prose -- Hand-luck stories / Alice Munro -- Exchange / Ray Bradbury -- The library of Babel / Jorge Luis Borges.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN6120.95.L554 I52 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PN6120.95.L554 I52 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Libraries, with their miles and miles of books are, for writers and readers alike, the magical portal to new worlds-the source of terrors, delights, and pleasures aplenty. Here, in one volume, noted author and librarian Michael Cart has assembled a fascinating collection of twentieth century short fiction about libraries and librarians: from such classics as Borges's "The Library of Babel" and Isaac Babel's "The Public Library," to such contemporary gems as John Cheever's "Trouble of Marcie Flint" and Lorrie Moore's "Community Life." Love, lunacy, obsession, and the joy of reading come together in a collection that readers, booksellers, and librarians would agree is long overdue.

Author Notes

Michael Cart was for many years the Director of the Beverly Hills Public Library. He was children's book editor for Parents, and has authored books for adults and young adults. He lives in San Diego, California

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Contributions from such major figures as Borges, Cheever, Alice Munro and Ray Bradbury carry the day in In the Stacks: Short Stories about Libraries and Librarians, assembled by former librarian Michael Cart (My Father's Scar). Borges's well-known "The Library of Babel" is the best of the bunch, with its thought-provoking musings on the possibilities of an "infinite" library. Cheever chips in with a noteworthy contribution in "The Trouble of Marcie Flint," a typical exploration of infidelity and the dark side of suburbia. A handful of the remaining stories are pedantic, underdeveloped or ill-conceived, but there's more than enough wheat among the chaff to make this an intriguing collection. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Librarian Cart (Tomorrow Land) gathered these 19 stories about what he calls "the many-splendored universe we call the library." What is impressive is the list of writers: Italo Calvino, Ray Bradbury, Ursula Le Guin, Isaac Babel, Alice Munro, John Cheever, Jorge Luis Borges, and more are represented in these pages. A librarian's love of books is dramatically demonstrated in Le Guin's "Phoenix," where the librarian risks his life to save some precious examples from fire, and in Anthony Boucher's "QL696.C9," the call number is a clue to a mystery. Librarians and romance are subjects in Sue Kaufman's "Summer Librarian" and Francine Prose's "Rubber Life," while other stories focus on the value of the library itself. Calvino's "A General in the Library," the strongest story in the collection, reaffirms the power of books as a general is told to clean out all the politically incorrect books in a library and ends up wanting to read them all. Frustratingly, while most of the stories praise the library and books, the librarians portrayed often fit the stereotype of the lonely, timid character that librarians have been struggling to overcome. Recommended for large library collections. Josh Cohen, Mid-Hudson Lib. Syst., Poughkeepsie, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Michael CartItalo CalvinoUrsula K. LeGuinJoanne GreenbergMaria DabrowskaGina BerriaultIsaac BabelLorrie MooreZona GaleLisa KogerSue KaufmanAnthony BoucherWalter R. BrooksM.R. JamesSakiJohn CheeverFrancine ProseAlice MunroRay BradburyJorge Luis Borges
Introductionp. 7
A General in the Libraryp. 13
The Phoenixp. 18
Gloss on a Decision of the Council of Nicaeap. 24
Miss Vincentp. 40
Who Is It Can Tell Me Who I Am?p. 64
The Public Libraryp. 80
Community Lifep. 83
The Cobwebp. 100
The Retirement Partyp. 116
Summer Librarianp. 134
QL 696.C9p. 151
Ed Has His Mind Improvedp. 172
The Tractate Middothp. 180
The Story of St. Vespaluusp. 196
The Trouble of Marcie Flintp. 204
Rubber Lifep. 219
Hard-Luck Storiesp. 230
Exchangep. 246
The Library of Babelp. 256
About the Authorsp. 265