Grace Paley’s Narratives: “Beyond Evergreen”

By Erika Dreifus on February 2, 2016

I don’t know about you, but two of the many names I’ve been seeing in the news lately are “Hillary Clinton” and “Bernie Sanders.” So perhaps it’s not all that surprising that those names came quickly to mind as I was looking over our latest freelance piece for this site, in which Merridawn Duckler writes: “Grace Paley’s short-story collection Later the Same Day (1985) is that rarity: a literary work that, 30 years after publication, feels more modern than ever. Paley, who passed away in 2007, was acclaimed in her lifetime, but it’s tempting to think that these days, she’d be lionized—as a feminist who doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks of her choices, a socialist, an activist. Paley’s era-specific, voice-driven narratives turn out to be something beyond evergreen.”

All of the other “labels” aside, Paley was also very much a Jewish writer. That, too, is part of Duckler’s analysis. Regardless of your own political preferences and proclivities, we hope that you’ll read and enjoy it. (For still more about Grace Paley’s work, you may also want to revisit Ilana Masad’s take on Enormous Changes at the Last Minute.)