The Honest Art of Leonard Michaels
The Collected Stories
By Leonard Michaels
Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 403 pages. $26.
Unlike other masters of the short story—say, Bernard Malamud, in whose Complete Stories we witness the author’s approach shifting regularly and unpredictably, or Grace Paley, whose Collected Stories manifests relatively stable interests and methods—Leonard Michaels transformed his style dramatically, if gradually, during his career. Reading him chronologically in the new Collected Stories, beginning with the work he composed in the early ‘60s and continuing through the final publications before his death in 2003, the evolution of Michaels’ oeuvre stares you smack in the face. (more…)