Paley’s Glad Day

Grace Paley, my favorite living short story writer,* has launched a publishing company, Glad Day Books, with her partner, Robert Nichols. Glad Day aims

to bridge the gap between imaginative literature and political articles and criticism — categories marketed under the labels fiction and non-fiction. This split isolates effective political criticism and trivializes the telling of stories.

Next month Paley’s house will publish its first novel, Leora Skolkin-Smith’s Edges: O Israel O Palestine, which is, according to the press release:

set in a pre-1967 Israel, during the Cold War. [The narrator] is fourteen years old when the suicide of her American father forces her family to return to her mother’s native Jerusalem.

The novel has garnered raves from novelists Oscar Hijuelos and Katharine Weber, among others.

In email, Skolkin-Smith reveals that Paley has become “very concerned about the problems in publishing and essentially decided she wanted to try to help younger writers” by publishing books that might otherwise go unnoticed.

* A.S. Byatt has said of Paley:

She is one of a kind…. I do not think I have ever laughed so much over the joy of the inconsequential as I do listening to Grace in her writing. She reminds me also of my mother at her best, who told terrible stories deadpan, ironing out the awful and the banal into one string of story.


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