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All about the 2017 international short story competition

We’re delighted to announce that the judge for the International Willesden Herald 2017 New Short Stories competition will be none other than...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Mastery and devilment

Last Night by James Salter

I heard him interviewed and he claimed not to try for this silky smooth effect. It bothered him to be constantly referred to as a masterful prose stylist, a writer's writer, because it was in danger of making him too self-conscious. However there is no doubt that, as Richard Ford said in his introductory notes to this story, that there is no "grit" in James Salter's style. Yet I found that this story was as horrifying as just about any I've ever read. It trickles into the mind like a snake under a door before striking with deadly effect.


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