In the Stacks: Short Stories about Libraries and Librarians

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Michael Cart
Overlook Press, 2002 - Fiction - 268 pages
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Libraries are created worlds. Row upon row of shelves holding miles and miles of books arranged meticulously down to the last decimal point, they combine the glories of a tale out of the Arabian Nights with the hidden terrors of an ordered, card-filed bureaucracy from Kafka. That the books within libraries contain terrors and pleasures aplenty has been a source of delight since before the Great Library of Alexandria, and for many budding writers and bookworms the public library off Main Street was the magic portal to new worlds.

In In the Stacks, noted librarian Michael Cart has assembled the cream of twentieth century short fiction about libraries and librarians. They range from such classics as Isaac Babel's "The Public Library" to Jorge Luis Borges's tale about a library stretching into infinity ("The Library of Babel"), to such contemporary masters as Ray Bradbury ("Exchange"), Alice Munro ("Hard Luck Stories"), Francine Prose ("Rubber Life"), Nikki Giovanni ("The Library"), and others. Lunacy, love, obsession and the joy of reading are all gathered together in a volume most readers-and librarians of course-would agree is long overdue.

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In the Stacks: Short Stories About Libraries and Librarians

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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 ... Read full review

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Gina Berriault's "Who Is It Can Tell Me Who I Am" is a gem, a nuanced portrait of a librarian's response to a difficult patron.


Introduction by Michael Cart
Lisa Koger
A General in the Library

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About the author (2002)

Michael Cart was for many years the director of the Beverly Hills Public Library. He is the author of many books, including Love and Sex, a collection of short stories for young adults, What's So Funny: Wit and Humor in American Children's Literature and From Romance to Realism: Fifty Years of Growth and Change in Young Adult Literature. A member of numerous professional associations and the recipient of many awards and prizes, he has been the children's book editor for Parents magazine and is a columnist for Booklist. He is currently at work on a biography of the beloved children's book author, Walter R. Brooks, creator of Freddy the Pig.

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