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Showing posts from December, 2010

Contemporary Fiction: Reading Richard Yates, Young Hearts Crying

"If my work has a theme, I suspect it is a simple one: that most human beings are inescapably alone, and therein lies the tragedy."  -Richard Yates

                The novels of Richard Yates have recently attained the commercial level of respect that critics have long demanded.  For over thirty years Yates published a series of devastating portraits of suburban anomie, artistic frustration, and men failing in every way at work, in love, inside themselves.  Yates’ novels include Revolutionary Road (1961), A Special Providence (1969), Disturbing the Peace (1975), The Easter Parade (1976), A Good School (1978), Young Hearts Crying (1984), and Cold Spring Harbor (1986).  To coast on Revolutionary Road’s success, his early stories were collected in Eleven Kinds of Loneliness (1962); again in 1981, alongside the 20th anniversary of Revolutionary Road, a second collection of later stores appeared, Liars in Love (1981).  Inexplicably, from the publication of his last novel in 1986,…