Haricut and Other Stories

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Touchstone, Sep 11, 1991 - Fiction - 192 pages
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Ring Lardner first burst upon the literary scene with his greatest popular success, "You Know Me Al." A sportswriter by trade, Lardner had a superb ear for regional peculiarities in speech and was loved for his sense of humor. Funny, sarcastic, sometimes bitter but always ironic, Lardner understood Americans-- their desires, their dreams, and their disappointments. Contained in "Haircut and Other Stories" are some of Lardner's best-known pieces: "Haircut," "Alibi Ike," "The Love Nest," "Zone of Quiet," and "Champion." Through these pages pass con men; an opinionated small-town barber; a nurse who chatters on and on, much to the chagrin of her charges; baseball players who have excuses for everything; and boxers who try to make it in the fight game. Published in "The Saturday Evening Post," "Collier's" and "Vanity Fair," Lardner enjoyed great success and was heralded as a singular talent by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, H. L. Mencken, and Virginia Woolf. "Haircut and Other Stories" is a celebration of people and of America, and is a must for anyone interested in classic American fiction.

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About the author (1991)

Ringgold Wilmer Lardner was born on March 6, 1885 in Niles, Mich. His unusual first name came from the Civil War Union admiral Cadwallader Ringgold, but he disliked his name and shortened it to Ring. Although he came to journalism somewhat by chance, taking a position that had originally been offered to his brother, Lardner soon found his niche, writing first about sports, particularly baseball, and later a humor column. Lardner worked as a sportswriter for several papers, including the Chicago American, the Boston American, and The Chicago Tribune. Eventually he began to write short stories, and today he is best known for his stories about baseball, and in particular You Know Me Al, a series of letters from Jack Keefe, a fictional baseball star, to his hometown friend, Al. The letters first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in 1914, and then were published in book form in 1916. Other short-story collections include Round Up, The Busher Returns, Gullible's Travels, and First and Last. Lardner also wrote one novel, The Big Town, and collaborated with George S. Kaufman on the play June Moon, which opened on Broadway in 1929 and was filmed a year later. Ring Lardner died in East Hampton, Long Island, N.Y. in 1933. Lardner's son, Ring Lardner, Jr., is also a writer whose credits include the screenplay for the movie M*A*S*H.

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