Cover image for The Paris review anthology
The Paris review anthology
Plimpton, George.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton, [1990]

Physical Description:
686 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Title Subject:
Added Author:
Added Uniform Title:
Paris review.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN6014 .P23 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



A selection of representative fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from the Anthology from 1953 to present.

Author Notes

George Ames Plimpton was born March 18, 1927. He was educated first at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, and then spent four years at Harvard majoring in English and editing the Harvard Lampoon, followed by two at King's College, Cambridge. Before he left for Cambridge, he served as a tank driver in Italy for the U.S. Army from 1945 through 1948.

After graduation, at about 27 years of age, Plimpton went with his friends to Paris. There they founded the Paris Review in 1953 and published poetry and short story writers and did interviews. In the '50s, Plimpton and staff came to New York, where they kept the Review going for half a century. The Review has published over 150 issues. Plimpton also served as a volunteer for Robert Kennedy's 1968 presidential run and was walking in front of him as the candidate was assassinated in the kitchen of a Los Angeles hotel.

Plimpton was known as a "participatory journalist". In order to research his books and articles, he quarterbacked in a pre-season NFL game, pitched to several all-stars (retiring Willie Mays and Richie Ashburn) in an exhibition prior to Baseball's 1959 All-Star game, performed as a trapeze artist for the Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers Circus, and fought boxers Archie Moore and Sugar Ray Robinson. Plimpton was alson known by the nickname the Prince of Cameos for the amount of work he did in films, playing small parts and screenwriting.

He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2002. Within a month of the academy induction, the French made him a Chevalier, the Legion of Honor's highest rank. The Guild, an arts organization based on Long Island, gave him a lifetime achievement award. Plimpton was also a member of PEN; the Pyrotechnics Guild International; the National Football League Alumni Association; and the Mayflower Descendants Society.

In 2003, Plimpton decided to write his memoirs, signing a $750,000 deal with Little, Brown and Co. Before he could finish, George Plimpton died, on September 26, 2003 of natural causes at the age of 76.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

If, as William Styron states in his prefatory letter written in 1953 to the editor of the Paris Review, "the times get precisely the literature that they deserve," then the past 40 years have been time on its best behavior. Conceived in a Parisian cafe in 1953, the magazine was intended to reflect its founders' generation; it promoted creative work and demoted the criticism of literature--which filled literary magazines of the time--to the back of the magazine. This anthology gathers, from the over 400 fiction and 1,000 poetry pieces published in the magazine, the most representative of its history. Now-famous writers, such as Beckett, Calvino, Roth, Borges, Carver, Updike, Gilliatt, and Larkin, are represented with early works and join some lesser-known but substantial talents. These selections glow from the pages, the summation of a magazine equal in worth to all of its talented parts. --Deanna Larson-Whiterod

Publisher's Weekly Review

A cornucopia of fiction, poetry and prose from 35 years of the prestigious Paris Review , this rich collection comprises 187 items, many by award-winning authors, constituting a stunning array of literary strategies. Some of the stories by such authors as Evan Connell, Philip Roth and James Salter have attained the status of classics. Among the finest recent works, Rick Bass's ``Wild Horses'' entwines human sorrow with the suffering of animals; people who inhabit others' lives appear in Raymond Carver's ``Why Don't You Dance'' and Joy Williams's ``Making Friends.'' Skewed, offbeat humor and incendiary wit surfaces in tales by Steven Dixon, Thomas M. Disch and T. Coraghessan Boyle. Reminiscences/interviews feature excerpts from the famed Writers-at-Work series (``Portraits'' of, e.g., Yeats, Eliot, Faulkner and Frost); a profile of Lady Diana Cooper, author and friend of literary figures, by Shasha Guppy; and Bobby Anderson's riveting memoir of drug-addicted Edie Sedgwick, a doomed beauty in Andy Warhol's coterie. The diction of the poetry ranges from the tautly formalist to the magically charged, from the resilient accents of stylized speech to the intimately confessional. Arranged in five sections covering seven years each, the anthology conveys the sense that language is potent and redemptive; introductory notes are full of nuggets of literary and publishing history, and reflect the views of a succession of editors. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This anthology has historical as well as literary significance since it reminds readers how a new era in writing began. The Paris Review was founded in 1953 as a counterblast to what has been called the Age of Criticism; thus, almost all the 187 pieces in this collection are fiction and poetry, with essays about authors replaced by interviews with them. Editor Plimpton was in college during the Review 's early days, and while the magazine has retained its youthful intellectual curiosity over the years, it has kept something of youth's high-spirited silliness as well; the ultimate Paris Review story will always be Dallas Wiebe's ``Night Flight to Stockholm'' (included here), in which a writer literally gives his little finger to get published.-- David Kirby, Florida State Univ., Tallahassee (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.