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Ingalls, Rachel. TIMES LIKE THESE: STORIES BY RACHEL INGALLS. Saint Paul, MN: Graywolf Press, 2005. Softcover. First Edition/First Printing. 316 pages. As New.

Retrospective collection of short stories. Some of Rachel Ingalls' finest achievements. The first appearance of the stories in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent printings. Published in a very small and limited print run through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts as a softcover original only, the first print run is now very scarce. Presents eight longish short stories by a modern master of the form. The collections from which they were culled originally appeared in the United Kingdom as "Black Diamond" (1992) and "Days Like Today" (2000). Their publication in the United States is very long overdue for here are creepily indelible stories that "pose the same questions: What do people really believe in, where can they put their trust, and why do they continue to hope?" (Publisher's blurb). Ingalls' masterpiece, "Mrs. Caliban", classified as a novel, is really a book-length short story, the novel as a work of distillation, written in impeccable prose, not a single word wasted, and vastly superior to other writers' thousand-page efforts. At her very best, Rachel Ingalls is among the best writers in the English language today. One wishes that this very private writer, whom the late John Updike wrote about in glowing reviews, were more prolific (and more outgoing). The way she is able to evoke the senses, notably the sense of smell, through words is unsurpassed. War has a certain odor, and if we can smell trouble, Ingalls makes us smell war in "Veterans", the longest and finest piece in the present collection. Her faith (as a literary artist, not as a religious believer) is in the transformative power of the imagination to overcome our drab and dreary existence. In one moment of clarity and illumination (that seems to descend upon them like grace but actually comes from deep within), her characters transcend the all-too-human capacity to commit evil. Despite the fact that "Mrs. Caliban" is now regarded as one of the greatest American novels of the 20th century, Rachel Ingalls remains a cult writer with a small but ardent following. The latter, plus the fact that one of her most loyal champions was Updike, seems good enough for her. "If one cannot sense the truth, then it probably isn't true" (Rachel Ingalls). A "must-have" edition for Rachel Ingalls completists. This Import title remains available in multiple subsequent printings and is now collectible. This is one of very few copies of the First American Omnibus Edition still available online and has absolutely no flaws, a pristine beauty. A very scarce copy thus. One of the finest American writers of the 20th century. A flawless copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER RACHEL INGALLS TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 1555974317. $50.00

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